Ian Humphries (The Bidding Room)

Ian Humphries, recognized for his old-school ethos blended with a fresh perspective on the antiques trade, has carved a niche in the world of unique, vintage, and decorative items.

Ian Humphries owns Manor Monkey’s Antiques, which is based in Worcester. The showroom spans 1,300 square feet and is a treasure trove of eclectic and peculiar items from the 17th to the 20th century. Beyond the physical location, Ian extends his reach to a global audience by showcasing and selling his carefully curated collection online, through his website, and on platforms such as Etsy and eBay.

What sets Ian apart is his passion for objects with a narrative—those unique pieces discovered at car boot sales and in the nooks of antique centers that often go unnoticed. He excels in uncovering these treasures, skillfully negotiating their acquisition, and presenting them at fair prices.

Biography

Ian’s exact birthdate remains a mystery, though it’s widely speculated that he is in his fifties.

His mother, still vibrant and full of life, contrasts with the memory of his father, a dedicated servant of the Royal Air Force, who has since passed away. Ian also has an elder brother, though his name remains undisclosed.

During his time with the Air Training Corps (ATC), Ian showcased his musical talents, adeptly playing trumpet and drums, demonstrating his diverse skill set and interests from an early age.

Ian’s personal life, particularly regarding his relationship status, remains a subject of speculation. No significant other has been publicly associated with him. This lack of visibility has led to assumptions of his singleness. Ian may choose to keep his romantic life private, and without any direct confirmation from him, it’s widely presumed that he is currently single.

Career

In a candid Instagram video, Ian shared his journey, reflecting on a childhood marked by challenges from his early days in Kempton. The transition from infant school through middle school and eventually to high school was fraught with difficulties. At the boys’ high school, he found solace in woodwork, his favorite subject.

Upon graduating, Ian harbored dreams of becoming a pastry chef. However, career advisors discouraged him, doubting his suitability for the profession. This setback led him down a path well-trodden by his family—into the motor trade. With his father’s help, Ian secured a job in the sector, starting at the petrol pump department. His journey through the ranks was humble, beginning with sweeping floors in the parts department, where his mother also worked.

Ian’s ambition and resilience saw him advance to the heavy mechanics section. This period in his life was formative, instilling a toughness that would serve him well in the future.

Eventually, Ian ventured into sales, where he found a knack for selling vehicles such as Metros, Dolomites, and Allegros from Longbridge, working in the vicinity for two years. His experience in car sales laid the groundwork for a significant career pivot into the world of antiques. This transition marked a new chapter in Ian’s life, showcasing his ability to adapt and thrive in varied environments.

Ian’s career in antiques took off while he was living at his mother’s house, teaming up with a colleague named Paul Becker to participate in antique fairs. His initial significant transaction, a modest yet pivotal moment, involved selling a table for 12 pounds. This early experience was a stepping stone that led him to open his first shop in Droitwich, England, setting the stage for his future successes in the antique business.

The Bidding Room

Ian Humphries gained recognition as a distinguished antique dealer on BBC1’s “The Bidding Room” from 2020 to 2022. In a profession where a large fan base or fame is not typically the measure of success, his participation in the show marked a turning point, making him a well-known figure within the antiques industry. Throughout his time on the program, he appeared in 26 episodes, showcasing his keen eye for unique and captivating antiques.

In one memorable episode, Ian was in a competitive bidding war for the intriguing “Crazy Chris’ Bed of Nails” alongside fellow antique dealers Jane Cave, Tash Francis, Adi Higham, and James Gooch. The tense auction saw Ian and Gooch (Doe & Hope) go head-to-head, with Ian ultimately securing the piece for 355 pounds.

Beyond his appearances on “The Bidding Room,” Ian broadened his presence in the television world with a role in “The Vintage French Farmhouse” in 2023, further solidifying his expertise and reputation in the antique community.

In addition to his television work, Humphries has contributed his voice and insights to BBC1’s Hereford & Worcester Radio, specifically on the Malcolm Boyden & Elliot Webb shows, where he shares his knowledge and experiences in the antique trade.

Net Worth

While Ian Humphries’ exact net worth remains private, his substantial influence within the antiques sector and the broader media landscape is irrefutable. Boasting over three decades of experience, Humphries’ actual value transcends the mere financial gains from transactions or television appearances. It encompasses the extensive knowledge he has shared, the enthusiasm he has sparked among aficionados and novices, and his indelible mark on the antiques industry.

As an antique dealer, Humphries has honed the skill of acquiring items well below their market value to secure a profit upon resale. The profit margins he achieves can significantly vary, influenced by factors such as an item’s scarcity, demand, and condition. For instance, a piece of vintage furniture acquired for $100 might be restored and sold for $300, reflecting both the restoration work and its market appeal. Conversely, a rare collectible purchased for $500 could fetch upwards of $1,500, its price inflated by its allure to collectors. These markups are not merely profit; they represent the dealer’s expertise, the costs of restoration, and the risks tied to inventory management.

Given the complexities of estimating someone’s net worth in such a dynamic field, combined with the lack of public financial disclosures, any figure suggested would be speculative. However, considering the nuances of his trade and the longevity of his career, a rough estimate of Ian Humphries’ net worth might place it in the range of $100,000 to $150,000. This approximation accounts for the tangible aspects of his professional life, though his actual value in contribution to the field of antiques is undoubtedly much more significant.

Tattoos

Ian is immediately recognizable for his distinctive floral tattoos that adorn both arms and extend up to his neck. His body art doesn’t stop at florals; it also includes a griffin, dragon, Chinese warriors, butterflies, and a panther, each piece adding to the narrative drawn into his skin. Ian views his tattoos as a personal contribution to brightening the world, embracing them as a form of body art that has gained social acceptance over time.

Ian got his first tattoo – a rose design on his upper left arm, crafted by an artist known as Shakey. The memory of nearly fainting during this initial inking session remains a significant part of his journey into body art. Shakey also contributed to Ian’s collection with a striking tattoo of a black panther and a snake on his upper right arm.

Where is Ian Humphries Now?

Ian Humphries continues to thrive in the antique world, actively engaging with his audience on Instagram under the handle @manormonkeysantiques. He regularly posts updates showcasing his latest finds, bringing new treasures into the spotlight for his followers. Alongside these glimpses into his professional endeavors, Ian also shares more personal moments through weekend video updates.

Humphries’ presence on internet platforms, such as YouTube, has been relatively quiet since his last post in 2017. On his YouTube channel, he is an educator and a storyteller, sharing his passion and knowledge of Antque business with others.

You may be wondering just how interesting Antiques are and why they may not appeal to everyone; in a few words, here is why the Antiques industry still holds value. Antiques hold value due to their historical significance, rarity, craftsmanship, and the unique story each piece carries from the past. People are drawn to antiques for their aesthetic appeal, the connection to history they provide, and the investment potential, as well-cared-for antiques can appreciate over time.

The market for antiques is substantial and diverse, encompassing everything from furniture and artwork to collectibles and everyday items from bygone eras. It appeals to a wide range of enthusiasts, from casual collectors to serious investors.

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