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Direct Line Insurance estimate that we have £222 billion worth of antiques in our attics, True?

An interesting article in the “Money” section of #Times of Saturday the 10th of August 2019 states that two thirds of people in the UK have at least one #antique or #collectable item worth over £500.00 and between us we have an estimated £222 #billion worth of stash in our attics.

Early 20th century Japanese ginger or spice jar

£222 000 000 000 is a lot of #money and I find it hard to believe how Direct Line came about these figures.


I attend circa three calls a week to private households to value and buy antiques, collectables and interesting items and I cannot remember the last time that I saw anything worth over £500.00.


If we roughly work out the figures from the National Office for Statistics we can say that we have 65m people in the UK, around 15m are under 18 so we are left with 50m, two thirds we shall say for this example is 33m people.


If we divide the £222 billion by the 33 million, we are left with £6727.00 worth of antiques per person – the article states per person so we can assume £13 454 per household.


I realise that this is an average figure but even so with the low value of brown furniture and relatively poor realisations at auction recently how can Direct Line estimate these figures?

I assume that the research is intended to scare people into looking for valuables at home and taking up insurance. It must be realised that an insurance valuation is three times that of an auction one – the insurance valuation takes into consideration time spent looking for a replacement piece etc.

A #Victorian inlaid ladies sewing table


Taking the above into consideration we are looking at a sale figure of just over £2200.00 per person which I believe to be a much more realistic figure for an average.

Our £22 000 000 000 insurance is closer to £7 000 000 000 in “real” value terms.


I was once told to believe nothing that I read in a newspaper, perhaps I should have listened.

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All the photographs are items we have had in stock over the past year, all images and and text are  copyright Sell My Antiques 2020