The saying ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ was proven to be true when TV’s Salvage Hunters visited an historic girls’ school.
A 150-year-old statue of a woman – which had been stored in the garage with a traffic cone on her head – became one of antique dealer Drew Pritchard’s top finds at Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls.
The stone lady, whose arm was broken off years ago, was snapped up by the celebrity dealer because of the beauty in the statue’s marble base.
Drew also purchased a group of 170 chairs, dated back to 1958, from the School’s dining room – the biggest lot bought since Salvage Hunters began filming five years ago.
The show, which is aired to 12 million viewers in 29 different countries on Quest TV, spent all day filming the episode at HMSG on Wednesday, November 5.
Drew, whose clients include royalty and Hollywood stars, said: “We’re in a remarkably beautiful location and we found just what you want to find when you go to a school – good quality and big quantity.
“I paid a little bit too much for the chairs but I wanted to secure that quantity.
“We’ve gone from mid-20th century to mid-19th century with the statue.
“What’s remarkable about this is that the base is better than the statue – it’s the Rolls Royce of bases.”
HMSG’s Headmistress Caroline Pascoe will appear in the episode, due to air in March, showing Drew around the School and talking to him about its history.
She said: “It was fantastic meeting Drew.
“He highlighted the design of chairs we use every day without taking the time to really look at them – the delight of them is often hidden in a very busy dining room.
“A bit of history has gone from the School but I hope they go somewhere else and are enjoyed for another 50 years.
“It’s been a joke that the statue has been in the garage for so long.
“I think the maintenance team find her a bit of a nuisance.
“They have used her to prop things up and even kept a cone on her head.
“It’s very exciting to imagine where she may end up.”
Over the last 20 years, Drew’s business has gone from strength to strength and, along with stocking his dedicated area in London’s luxury department store Liberty, he is helping renowned chef Marco Pierre White to kit out a new restaurant in Singapore.
This may be where a third of the old HMSG dining chairs end up.
Drew believes the rest will take up residence in London restaurants or bars.
He said: “The statue could end up anywhere in the world.
“I’m helping a Hollywood actress decorate her home in California, and I can see the statue ending up there.”
The episode is due to be broadcast in March.
For more information on Salvage Hunters see questtv.co.uk/salvage-hunters