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


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