Estelle Bilson; The Bidding Room and Me.
If you’ve stumbled upon this blog, I am assuming that you may have watched an episode of the hit BBC afternoon antiques show, hosted by Nigel Havers, entitled The Bidding Room (week days 4.30pm, BBC1).
So, you may be wondering how I came to be on the ol’ telebox? Honestly, I ask myself this question sometimes, as it all seems a bit of a whirlwind of how I became one of the new dealers on series 2 which first aired in January 2021.
I have always been surrounded by antiques, the eldest daughter of a Cabinet Maker and Antiques Dealer, my father worked for many illustrious clients over the years and took me to my first auction aged four, whereby I was instructed to sit on my hands, save I bid on something accidentally.
My Dad, Mid 70s
Surrounded by mainly Georgian and Victorian furniture all my life, by the age of 13 I guess I rebelled somewhat, fascinated by anything from the art deco period of the 20s and 30s, to post war atomic design, through the post-modernist 60s and 70s. Over the past 30 odd years I bought and sold to enhance my own collections, and to upgrade the furniture in our home.
A serial collector, firstly of fashion and accessories, astutely amassing large collections of vintage handbags, clothing and powder compacts which were found for pennies during the 90s to more recently furnishing our home entirely in my fantasy of how I would have decorated it during the 70s.
Our home, which we hire as a location for film, television and photography
Over the past 10 – 15 years I have focussed my collecting almost entirely on the late 60s and throughout the 70s, and for this I am most well-known. My Instagram; 70s House Manchester is nearing 100K followers who are interested in not only our home, but our lifestyle.
We currently hire our home and contents as a retro styled location for television, video and photographic shoots and many of the retro wall coverings and accessories are part of our own designed collection, which is made in the UK using traditional craftspeople and independent businesses, you can shop our full collection HERE, including our best-selling tea towels which are made entirely in our home county of Lancashire, the traditional centre for cotton production in the UK.
It is fair to say that I am not a classic dealer in the respect of having an antiques shop, however over the three decades of buying, sourcing for private clients and selling, as well as interior & set design and styling I have a vast knowledge of an array of subjects within the field.
As for the Bidding Room, I was approached in June 2020 and asked if I would audition as part of series two, I was hesitant, never actually working on television previously, and contrary to popular belief we are not all actors, far from it; all of us that appear on the show buy and sell professionally, using our own money to purchase the items on the show. I will confess, however to keeping the best items for myself, which I absolutely consider to be the perks of the job.
I first nervously filmed back in October 2020 for series two, and series three in April of 2021. We have filmed a total of six series now, which series four will be shown in later August this year.
Keep your eye out for future blog posts about my favourite items I have bought (and regret not buying).
I would love it if you would enjoy following along with myself and my life, please head on over to the following social media platforms below where you can freely interact with me.
To shop our collection please click HERE
To book our retro 70s location house please contact me HERE
If you have interesting items for sale, please contact me HERE.