As well as being a recognised expert in his chosen field, Eric Knowles is a well-known face in the world of antiques, particularly to viewers of ‘Antiques Roadshow’ and ‘Antiques Master’ which he co-presented. He appears to be one of those rare individuals who is able to share his considerable knowledge in a way that is exciting and easy to understand.
He was born in Nelson in 1953 and worked in both 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 Bonham’s, the London auctioneers, working first as a porter in the ceramics’ department, before becoming head of the department in 1981. In 1985, he was offered a full directorship. As a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Eric Knowles has become 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. Today he looks after museum liaison and several of his finds can now be seen in national museums.
Eric is a regular face on TV. His many appearances include ‘Crimewatch UK’, ‘Selling the Family Silver’, ‘Going For A Song’, ‘The Great Antiques Hunt’, ‘The Antiques Inspector’, ‘It’s a Gift’, ‘You Can’t Take It with You’, ‘20th Century Roadshow’ and regular antiques specials on ITV’s This Morning. He has also filmed a historical renovation series for Discovery Home & Leisure called ‘The House That Mackintosh Built’, a property series ‘Period Property’ and several series of ‘Put your money where your mouth is’ (BBC 1). In 2010 he presented a series for BBC 2 called Restoration Roadshow. As well as presenting radio (including regular appearances on Radio 2) and TV, he has written books on subjects such as Victoriana, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Royal Memorabilia and Lalique. The famous pottery of Royal Doulton has launched the Eric Knowles character jug. Previously The Sunday Times’ antiques expert, he remains a frequent contributor to the BBC Homes and Antiques magazine as well as writing for a variety of other publications.
Eric has lectured extensively in the UK at such renowned museums as the Victoria and Albert and the British Museum and around the world. He is a patron of several charities and is an Ambassador for the Princes Trust.