David Harper Fine Art & Antiques Brokers

About David Harper

I’m a BBC TV Antiques Expert & Presenter. Programmes like Bargain Hunt, Flog It!, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is and The Antiques Roadtrip. I’m also a Painter, Broker, After Dinner Speaker & Auctioneer.

Booking Enquiries Here

Charity Auctioneer: I have a track record for raising lots of money at charity events by really involving the audience in the live auction and whipping up some super bidding…A recent example is the world record price I achieved for dinner with Sir Alex Ferguson. After furious bidding and high energy, the winning bid was £170,000…£100,000 over the best expectation!

After Dinner Speaker: I host UK wide entertaining events, giving after dinner speeches, lunch and valuation talks.

Writing: Read David Harpers Antiques Articles

Antiques & Classic Car Brokerage: I sell on behalf of private clients. Please click link for more information

Painting: One of my great passions is painting and my artworks and limited edition prints are available from selected art dealers, interior designers and online here  www.davidharperartist.co.uk 


David has been fascinated by art and antiques all his life. From as early as he can remember he has been collecting and studying all things old and ancient…and he hasn’t stopped! As a child he would search for broken pieces of pottery in freshly plowed farmers fields and by the age of seven he had amassed a huge collection of worn out coins and faded stamps! He bought his first antique at the age of 9 and began working full-time within the art, antiques and classic car business at 18. At the age 23 David was already making a name for himself in the world of antiques and because of this was asked to became one of the youngest directors of a UK PLC company, importing rubberwood antique style furniture from the Far East. David has shipped antiques to and from America, owned antiques restoration businesses, exhibited at top international art and antiques fairs and brokered the sales of some hugely valuable collections. Today, David still handles the sales of antiques and classic cars on behalf of clients, although most of his time is taken up with talks, events and filming on the subjects of antiques and cars!

David Harper the artist. After spending years studying art and artists from all periods (and thinking about becoming a painter!) he began painting in 2008. In 2012 an art dealer spotted his work, asked if she could buy some pieces and today David’s art is in homes and private collections (including museums) around the world.  See www.davidharperartist.co.uk

TV & Radio

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. This was a very nerve wracking experience and one that gave David his first ever night without any sleep! The experience however was literally life changing, thrilling and great fun for him. Soon after, other local radio stations booked David and for three years David would appear weekly on BBC radio taking live calls from listeners to discuss their antiques, dishing out advice valuations and funny stories! This was followed by offers to write for magazines and newspapers. This continued whilst David was running his antiques business which at the time included an antiques restoration and upholstery business making copies of Georgian and Victorian sofas.

Then in 2003, David began valuing antiques behind the camera for shows like ‘Cash In the Attic’ but a call came in 2004 from a company making a new antiques show for Channel 4. David was asked to screen test for this show and the production company sent a director from London with a camera to visit David in Barnard Castle.

The test seemed to go well, it wasn’t too difficult, David talked to camera about his experience in the art and antiques business, told some stories and that was it…the director jumped back on the train to London.

The following day the producer telephoned and told David that he’d seen the screen test, it was great, he did really well, but that he’d like to do another one, before sending the tape to Channel 4! …The producer then suggested a few changes he’d like David to make before they filmed the next screen test!

  • David Harper Fine Art & Antiques Brokers
  • David Harper Fine Art & Antiques Brokers Celebrity
  • David Harper Fine Art & Antiques Brokers Celebrity
  • David Harper Fine Art & Antiques Brokers Celebrity
  • David Harper Fine Art & Antiques Brokers Celebrity
  • David Harper Fine Art & Antiques Brokers Celebrity
  • David Harper Fine Art & Antiques Brokers Celebrity
  • David Harper Fine Art & Antiques Brokers Celebrity
  • David Harper Fine Art & Antiques Brokers Celebrity

The changes were: pluck your eyebrows, shave your beard off, wear some glasses, smarten yourself up a bit, shave your hair off and put some false tan on!

David did as requested and the following week, the director arrived again to screen test the new David Harper! All seemed to go fine and two days later the producer called again with the fantastic news that Channel 4 would like David to present the show!…however, could he suggest a few changes before filming? Changes were: Grow your beard back, keep the glasses, keep the shaved head and plucked eyebrows, get a real sun tan and lose some weight!

So, the TV career began and has continued to grow each year with new shows and appearance. The TV work of course running alongside David’s antiques and art brokerage business which compliment and help one another perfectly.

When David is not filming or working in the business, you’ll probably find him painting! A recognised artist, David’s work hangs in homes around the world from California to Australia and is sold in several prestigious galleries in the UK. David’s artwork is very much inspired by the thousands of objects he has handled over the years, his time in Africa and the great 20th century painters like Picasso, Matisse, Leger and Vlaminck, all of whom he has studied and who’s colours and flamboyancy have been engraved on his mind.

When asked in interview how he has time to paint? David’s response was ‘I have friends who spend their time thinking about, talking about, playing or watching football. Its their hobby and interest outside of work. Painting is my football. I often find myself thinking about a painting I want to start. I might do this for days while I’m away filming or working and then when I return home, I can’t get into my studio quick enough to get started, even if this is late at night and if I’m lucky, the idea will pour onto the canvas! Painting for me is really the only time I truly switch off. I’m without doubt a workaholic and this really doesn’t worry me, I love working and I’m lucky in the fact I love my work, but I realise that we all need time for our brains to relax, slow down and drift off somewhere else. Painting is this for me. You could call it a form of meditation and I actually think it is. www.davidharperartist.co.uk

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.

David spent some of his formative years in Zimbabwe and has a deep love of Africa, its people, its welfare and its animals. David is very involved in discussions on how to bring the poaching of Elephants and Rhinos to an end in Africa before its too late. You can read more on the topic of ivory, the illegal trade and ways to stop poaching under the ‘articles’ section

David is based in central London and rural Barnard Castle

“Accept nothing nearly right or good enough”
Sir Henry Royce

If David Harper was a car he would be a Rolls-Royce Wraith. We the Yorkshire Section of the Rolls Royce Enthusiast Club had the very great pleasure of David Harpers company for a lunch at Fairfield Manor, York.

David elegantly and metaphorically drove around the room gathering and giving humorous comments from our rapt members and guests. The minutes vroom –vroomed by as he looked at and talked about our antiques and eccentric collectables.

As an entertaining speaker David Harper is truly noble! He is also elegant and the driver of a proper car. May he never “fail to proceed” !!!

Audrey Booth, Yorkshire Section RREC Secretary