5 Big Questions: MICHAEL HOGBEN


Is an art history degree or the market stall the best route into dealing and valuing art and antiques?

How important are trends, fads and new fashions in art?

And NFTs: are they worth the paper they are not written on?


In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to art dealer, auctioneer and TV antiques expert MICHAEL HOGBEN



  • Twitter: @MichaelHogben | @westenhanger

Known for:

  • Director – Westenhanger Auction Galleries
  • Presenter – Auction Man (BBC)
  • Guest expert – Bargain Hunt (BBC)
  • Guest expert – Dickinson’s Real Deal (ITV)
  • Author – A-Z of Antiques and Auctions
  • Author – 101 Antiques of the Future
  • Author – Collecting Under the Radar

The 5 Big Questions:

    1. How do you measure the impact of what you do?
    2. How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?
    3. How do we build the workforce we need for that future?
    4. How do you use creativity to solve problems?
    5. How do you collaborate?

Key quotes:

“I left school when I was fifteen, had my first company when I was seventeen and I’ve only ever worked for myself. I’ve always said if I’d had an education I’d be dangerous. I ended up with eight boutiques and fifty staff and I was nineteen years old. People used to come in the shop and say, can I speak to your Dad?”

“You can’t predict what’s going to be fashionable, all you can do is enjoy what you’ve got. You might not be able to upgrade, so stick with it.” 

“There’s a lot of people who are learning at the grass roots, learning their trade, they’re the ones who do the antique fairs, they go around early in the morning and do the boot fairs, and everyone thinks they’ve got something worth a fortune.”

“When we moved out of the Metropole Hotel, we moved right above the beach and then we went completely modern, we started collecting Gordon Russell, Eames, Patrick Caulfield, Tracey Emins and all stuff like that. You sort of sit with how your house should be looking at you.” 

“I said to my client, do not go anywhere near [NFTs] it’s just going to be a major con. If you’ve got a bitcoin, where do you spend it? You can’t go to Tesco’s and say here’s a quarter of a bitcoin. It’s just one of those pyramid sales, I think. I would move with the times if I thought I could get a pound note at the end of it!”

“I wake up happy, go to sleep happy, and that’s about it really. What more do you want in life?”

This episode was recorded in January 2022

Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible

Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts


Never miss another Possibility Club podcast

Access 150+ podcasts featuring a diverse range of innovators, change-makers, leaders and disruptors from across the worlds of business, culture and education.

Norman Cook | Andy Burnham | Lemn Sissay | Charlotte Church | Michael Rosen | Jimi Famurewa | Matthew Taylor | Stella Creasy | Tim Harford

Latest posts
NEWS: Modern Slavery in Sussex – new webinar series
NEWS: Modern Slavery in Sussex – new webinar series

NEWS: Modern Slavery in Sussex webinar series Changing the Conversation around anti-modern slavery  In a continuation of our stakeholder communities work with The University of Sussex we bring you a new series of 5 Changing the Conversation webinars on Modern...

read more
NEWS: We’re hiring – Project Officer 2x job vacancies
NEWS: We’re hiring – Project Officer 2x job vacancies

NEWS: We're hiring! Project Officer (x2) Come and join an award-winning teamProject Officer Contract details: 2x positions - one full time, one part time 30 hours per weekLocation: Home based, with some meetings in Sussex.Salary: £25,000 - £27,540 pa, pro rata +...

read more
CASE STUDY: Recover & Rise Digital Accelerator
CASE STUDY: Recover & Rise Digital Accelerator

Case Study: Events, Engagement & FacilitationWSCC Recover & Rise Digital Accelerator  ContextAs part of West Sussex County Council’s (WSCC) Economy Reset Plan 2020-2024. The Recover and Rise programme was introduced to find an engaging approach to...

read more
NEWS: UKRIO has launched 4 year strategy
NEWS: UKRIO has launched 4 year strategy

NEWS: UKRIO launches 4-year strategyFollowing a 6-month project with always possible, the UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) have launched their new 4-year strategy. UKRIO is an impressive and well-respected national charity. Their work underpins high quality...

read more

5 Big Questions: CAROLYNN BAIN  Why will intentionality change the world? How do we challenge word of mouth book recommendations?  And what is the difference between not-racism and anti-racism? In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to book shop owner,...

read more