Bargain Hunt: Expert gives valuation of Chinese Imperial vase
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Expert Tim Weeks from BBC’s Bargain Hunt was urged to explain why Nazi items were being sold at his auction house recently. Weeks, who also hosts his own radio show on BBC Wiltshire, was selling a Third Reich banner for £2,000 and a £300 swastika. The Board of Deputies of British Jews described the sale as “distressing, disturbing and hugely disrespectful”.
The items were due to be sold in his Wessex Auction rooms this Friday. However, the sales will no longer go ahead following a backlash from concerned parties over the sale.
The banning of the items come soon after a rise in far-right extremism in Britain and the current climate in Afghanistan, according to the Daily Mail.
Weeks, who has been a regular on Bargain Hunt since 2016, withdrew the Nazi memorabilia from the auction after being contacted by the publication.
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Speaking about the incident, Weeks said: “Upon learning that a number of Third Reich items are listed for auction, I have contacted the head of our militaria department to withdraw them immediately from sale.
“We would never wish to cause any offence, we apologise if any has unintentionally been caused.”
The Board of Deputies of British Jews has described the sale as “distressing, disturbing and hugely disrespectful”.
In parts of Europe, including Germany and Austria, it is illegal to sell Nazi memorabilia, but it is not illegal in England.
Sam Armstrong, a spokesperson for counter-terrorism think-tank the Henry Jackson Society, spoke about the dangers of selling such products.
“We know that a prime market for these vile symbols are the far-Right thugs who wish to attack this country and those who live in it,” he explained.
In April, a former policeman, Benjamin Hannam, was jailed for four years for being a member of a banned group National Action.
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National Action is a far-right neo-Nazi terrorist organisation based in the UK, founded in 2013 as a secretive group preventing members from speaking about it.
The BBC declined to comment.
Joining the show in 2016, Weeks spoke about why he chose a career in antiques and the things he likes to trade.
He explained: “I absolutely love everything about being an auctioneer – from valuation and researching to cataloguing and auctioneering.
“I genuinely love it [and] I’m fortunate enough to work around great people where we work very hard, but also have a lot of fun.”
He was also asked whether he collected anything, to which he replied: “I try not to anymore, I used to collect loads.
“Football programmes, toys, vinyl’s, ceramics, but I tend to spend my money on the kids instead of me these days.”
Weeks is the owner of Wessex Auction Rooms, specialist auctioneers of toys, jewellery, vinyl, music, militaria, sport, antiques, and furniture.
Bargain Hunt is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
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