Antiques expert to help hospice at Doxford Hall

Doxford Hall Hotel is throwing open its doors to welcome BBC antiques and fine art expert David Harper to a charity event marking a key milestone in the hall's history.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 25 April, 2018, 08:52
Antiques expert David Harper.

In his first engagement in Northumberland, David, one of BBC Bargain Hunt’s travelling experts, will present an afternoon of valuation, wisdom and antique-related fun on Friday, May 11.

The historic hall is celebrating its 200th birthday, and to commemorate the occasion, it is hosting a series of events throughout the year.

The afternoon will revolve around antiques, and those who attend are encouraged to bring along objects for David to discuss and evaluate.

Anyone with something they believe to be Georgian is especially encouraged but bringing an antique is by no means compulsory, and those who merely want to watch, enjoy and learn are very welcome.

David said: “My antiques talks are completely unscripted and off-the-cuff. Tales of big wins, big losses, making TV shows, and trade secrets will be shared with the audience and those that bring an antique with them will get a free valuation, some background information – and the item might also be used in the talk!”

Adrian Barsby, general manager at Doxford Hall, added: “We are looking forward to a classic occasion, which will be full of antique surprises – and David’s knowledge and wit. We have traditionally supported Northumberland Hospice Care and are pleased to continue through David’s event today. He has generously agreed to auction one of his own paintings in support of the charity, so art lovers and fans will get a great opportunity to own an example of his much-sought-after work.

The event is from 2pm to 5pm. Entrance is £7.50, which includes a welcoming coffee and biscuits. Those who would like to enjoy lunch beforehand can enjoy a two-course gourmet meal with coffee and petit fours for £22.50 per person. £5 from every admission will be passed straight to HospiceCare North Northumberland.

John Dobson, arguably the region’s greatest architect, was commissioned to build Doxford Hall. He is best known for designing Newcastle Central Station and his work with Richard Grainger in Central Newcastle. Doxford Hall was one of his earliest and finest houses and was completed in 1818 – hence the events planned during 2018.

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Doxford Hall then passed through several owners before extensive restoration work was carried out to create the hotel, which opened in 2008. In 2010 further works included the addition of more bedrooms and public areas, and the renovation of the original entrance. The result is an idyllic getaway with award-winning dining, a sumptuous spa (including treatments, saunas, hot tubs and a swimming pool) and immaculate gardens complete with an award-winning yew tree maze.

David Harper has been fascinated by art and antiques all his life. He bought his first antique at the age of 9 and turned his passion into a business, when he began working full-time within the art, antiques and classic car world at 18.

In 1999 David was asked to take part in a local BBC live radio phone in to talk about antiques, his experiences in the business, antique values and their histories. Then in 2003, David began valuing antiques behind the camera for shows like ‘Cash In the Attic’. He has been in many shows since, including, of course, “Bargain Hunt”.

In 2012 he began painting in earnest, created a studio and in 2014, and today his art is in homes and private collections (including museums) around the world.

Aside from his TV work, hosting events, brokerage and painting David also writes art and antiques articles for magazines and newspapers and is often called upon to discuss related issues on national TV and radio, including the controversial topic of the antique ivory trade.

Part of the Robert Parker Collection, Doxford Hall is located close to the Northumberland Coast, midway between Newcastle and Edinburgh. With a 2 AA Rosette Restaurant, a handful of other accolades, including North East Small Hotel of the Year and 4 red stars for the quality of its staff, accommodation and public areas, attention to detail is evident throughout as soon as you drive into the grounds of the 36-bedroom Georgian Mansion.

With conference and banqueting space for up to 300 delegates complimented with wonderful gardens, the largest yew tree maze in Europe, luxurious spa and superb backdrops for magical weddings it is a sought-after venue for both the business and leisure markets.

For further information about Doxford Hall please visits – www.doxfordhall.co.uk.