Bargain Hunt expert recalls selling 'world record' Lord Nelson letter for thousands

Charles Hanson rose to fame on Bargain Hunt before making an appearance on Antiques Road Trip. The expert, who has always had an interest in history and art, also runs his own auction room called Hansons Auctioneers. Over the years, the antique expert has been presented with hundreds of unique and rare finds ranging from a letter from Lord Nelson to Queen Victoria’s bloomers.

However, in an exclusive interview with, the 44-year-old has opened up about some of his highlights.

He explained he holds the world record prize for selling a Lord Nelson letter for £58,000.

Another memorable moment for Charles was selling a piece of King Charles’ uneaten toast.

On the royal’s wedding day to Princess Diana, the then Prince Charles was unable to finish his breakfast.

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“We were selling a piece of toast for Prince Charles on his wedding day…he couldn’t eat,” the Bargain Hunt star said.

“When my client’s mother cleaned his breakfast tray in July 1981 on his wedding day, he left that piece of toast.”

“When I saw that piece of toast, my response was, ‘Crumbs’,” he joked.

In the end, King Charles’ piece of uneaten toast went for a staggering £800 at auction.

“I said, ‘Be careful put it down.’ I thought it might make £50,000 and it made £700,000.”

The 44-year-old may run a successful auction house nowadays, but admittedly he made a few mistakes when his career first took off.

Ever since he was a child, he had a passion for antiques and history, and his parents even bought him his very own metal detector.

“When I was 27 years old, I wasn’t married had no dependents and I made a few mistakes,” Charles admitted. “But you learn and you build it slowly, and slowly it grew.

“I am humbled because you never forget how hard it is to build that base and how you can be knocked.”

Despite having a love for art and history, Charles explained at the beginning he wasn’t confident when it came to the “business side” of his auctioneers.

“Chasing debtors and doing all of that, I was out of my depth,” he added.

“But I had a colleague who worked for me three days a week, and that helped my business.”

Bargain Hunt is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.