What People Say: Eric Knowles

On Eric's Website

From Marilyn on 29th October 2006 and again in June 2011:

While reviewing this page I took another look www.ericknowles.co.uk. The site has been extensively revised. It now only gives the latest month for Collect it! magazine's A Month in the Life of Eric Knowles. There used to be a link to September 2005 - Hazle's 15th Anniversary which Eric attended at Windsor. There was a great photo of Hazle in the Talents store before the event "on the sunny side of her street":


Alongside Eric there was a photo of Ricky and Sally Ghai then proprietors of Talents outside their shop.

Eric Knowles Ricky and sally Ghai

Here is Eric's quote from the former feature:

"Nearer to home my visit to Talents of Windsor included meeting no shortage of would-be property collectors who find it difficult to resist the splendid minature pottery shopfronts and buildings of architectural merit produced by Hazel Ceramics who, incidentally, was there to celebrate its 15th Anniversary. Hidden behind Windsor's Guildhall (where Charles and Camilla tied the knot), Talents is an Aladdin's cave that stocks what might aptly be described as 'Blue Chip' collectables of desire and over the past two years has been under the dynamic ownership of Ricky and Sue Ghai."

There was nothing incidental about it Eric! We also forgive him (or Collect it!) for getting Sally's name wrong and mispelling Hazle's!

Eric's Interest Begins

From Marilyn on 7th April 2004:

You may be fascinated to know that Eric Knowles, well known presenter and valuer on the Antiques Roadshow and other TV programmes visited the Hazle Ceramics stand at the big NEC Gift Trade Fair at the end of January this year. That's the one where you have to walk at least 70 miles to see everything!

Eric writes articles for various publications including Collect it! magazine who asked him to look round the show for something they could do a feature on. The only thing that caught his eye was Hazle Ceramics - which he had not come across before! This is all the more significant when you consider that Eric's specialist subject is ceramics! He also champions famous names including Moorcroft, Minton and Lalique...

Eric had lots of questions for Hazle and was surprised that a company only starting out in 1990 still used such traditional, labour-intensive techniques locally. Other British manufacturers who work that way were founded in previous centuries when these methods were the norm, such as William Moorcroft in 1897. Eric recognised several of Hazle's buildings and was amused to find he had eaten at one - The Vickers Hotel and Restaurant in Woodstock, better known to us as the Wisteria Tea Rooms!

Unsurprisingly, this was the highlight of the trade fair for Hazle. The publicity will come at an especially welcome time because the tourist downturn, which continues with devastating effect on the giftware industry, is worse than ever this year.

About Eric Knowles

Extracts from Eric's CV on www.ericknowles.co.uk in 2004:

As well as a recognised expert in his chosen field, Eric Knowles is now a well-known face in the world of antiques, particularly to viewers of the BBC's Antiques Road Show. He was born in Nelson in 1953 and worked in engineering and for a firm of antique shippers in the early 1970s. His love of antiques, inherited from his parents, came to the fore in 1976 when he joined Bonhams the London auctioneers, working first as a porter in the ceramics department, becoming head of department in 1981.

His rise to the top was swift and in 1985 he was offered a full directorship. As a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, Eric Knowles is a leading authority in the following fields: European and Oriental Ceramics from the seventeenth to the twentieth century; the glass of Tiffany and Lalique; and nineteenth and twentieth century decorative arts. As well as presenting and appearing on many radio and TV programmes, he has written books on subjects such as Victoriana, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Royal Memorabilia. The famous pottery of Royal Doulton recently launched the Eric Knowles character jug.

Antiques Roadshow

Extracts from www.bbc.co.uk/antiques/antiquesroadshow in 2004:

The show began in 1977 when a local TV crew filmed a valuation day held by one of the London auction houses in the West Country. Out of this, came an idea for a programme, and the start of a new series was born. Many experts can recall the story of the couple from Barnstaple who only came along to the show back in 1986 because their dog, Fido, needed a walk. At the last minute they decided to bring along a painting neither of them particularly liked, that they'd kept in their attic. To their surprise it turned out to be a long lost painting by the Victorian artist Richard Dadd. After being valued on the show, it was later sold to the British Museum for £100,000.

Each episode is shown around the world, in Japan, Canada and New Zealand. It's invariably in the BBC's top ten factual shows and has become something of a national treasure. But what's the secret behind one of Britain's best-loved shows?

Michael Aspel, the show's presenter, has a theory: 'I think it's so popular because it works on many levels: it's a detective story, it's a game show, it's a history lesson.'

The game of guessing the value has even been made into an interactive feature of the show, where digital viewers can play along at home to predict the moment we've all been waiting for - the all important valuation.

From Janie on 7th April 2004:

The US Antiques Roadshow is also very popular, so this recognition is a very big deal.

From Clay on 8th April 2004:

No one is more deserving of accolades than Hazle for her wonderful ceramics. If Eric needs any endorsements he can find a slew of them at this web site. It's nice and amazing that he FINALLY discovered this unique and prized collectable series.

The Collect it! feature appeared in August 2004 Issue 85 where Eric said:

"I find the Nation of Shopkeepers range charming and innovative. When I came across them I thought they were fascinating. Lots of people are doing miniature buildings, but these are interesting architecturally... As a collectable I see them lasting in their charm, and they will be contested for by future generations."

As a result of that article, Hazle was offered the Collect it! Collectors' Club Focus slot for Issue 88 in November 2004, shown on a separate page in What People Say.

In September 2004 Eric briefly featured Hazle Ceramics on ITV, covered in a page here on the This Morning programme.

A resume of Eric and Hazle's Talk at the 15th Anniversary in 2005 is in the Events section and extracts from Eric's comments also appear in other relevant areas.

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