Celebrity auctioneer helps value old bible

24 August 2018
Celebrity auctioneer Michael Hogben kindly took a break from filming to help Demelza value an old and rare bible.

Michael, the auctioneer and antiques dealer who appeared in BBC Bargain Hunt and his own series Auction Man, is currently filming with Dickinson’s Real Deal, which will be shown in December. He took some time out after the charity asked for his help when staff discovered the bible in a box of donated books.

Michael said: “It genuinely dates back to the 1580s and has its original calf skin cover.

It’s a personal bible which is written in old English. There is a previous owner inscription at the front which people love.

“However, there are some pages missing from the front and it has suffered some damage – but someone will love it.”

Demelza’s E-Commerce Assistant Dylan Murray took the book to Westenhanger Auctioneers and Valuers, near Folkestone, for Michael’s expert opinion.

Dylan said: “At Demelza we are given a lot of books, but this is the oldest one we’ve ever had. We could sell the bible online as this helps us to reach the niche market that is looking for rare and unique items. It could also go to auction. We are still investigating its value – and Michael’s expertise have helped with that - but it is likely to be worth a lot more than the average value of a donated book!”

The book is a very early Geneva Bible. The Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant translations of the Bible into English and was the type used by William Shakespeare and Oliver Cromwell. This type of bible was the first mechanically printed, mass produced bible to be available directly to the general public of the time. 

The bible found features the word “breeches” which was later changed to “aprons”.  Only a small number of bibles include this word.

Demelza has 26 charity shops in Kent, South East London and East Sussex, including specialist book shops. Money raised from the shops – and from E-Commerce- helps Demelza to continue to provide care and emotional support for children with terminal conditions and their loved ones.