Television personality Eric Knowles is one of those rare individuals with the gift for sharing his considerable knowledge in a way that is exciting and easy to understand - making him a natural after-dinner entertainer.

Director of Ceramics and Works of Art at Bonhams, the London auction house, for the past seventeen years, he is a leading authority on the l9th and 20th Century decorative arts, as well as on European and Oriental ceramics from the l7th to the 20th Century, together with the glass of Tiffany and Lalique.

But he is probably better known for his regular appearances, over the past fifteen years, in the BBC television series "The Antiques Roadshow", where his genial personality and obvious sense of fun make him a very popular member of the team of experts. He can also be seen on Crimewatch LTK commenting on stolen property.

He was born in 1953 in Nelson, near Burnley, in Lancashire where his parents still live. He worked in engineering before joining a firm of antiques shippers in the early 1970's. In 1975 he went to London to join Bonhams, working there first as a porter!

It was from his parents that he inherited his love of antiques, and his keen interest took him swiftly to the top of Bonhams, culminating in the offer of a full Directorship in 1985. He is responsible for their internationally-renowned sales of Lalique glass, and amongst the more unusual auction he has organised are spectacles ;Masonic memorabilia and even coffinplates!

In 1992 Eric was responsible for setting up Bonham's offices in Bristol and has since returned to London to continue with directing the Decorative Arts Department.

Eric has contributed to several books on antiques, has been a Consultant on "Miller's Price Guide" since its inception, and written three of their Antique Checklists: the handbooks on Victoriana, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. New books include Victoriana to Art Deco and Royal Memorabilia. He is presently working on a new book titled "Discovering Antiques" which hopefully will prove to be a must for the novice and established collector. He is also a frequent contributor to BBC Homes & Antiques magazine and is a regular antiques expert on the BBC Radio Jimmy Young Show. Eric has recently featured as the resident expert on the revived and acclaimed BBC 1 programme "Going For a Song" and is also to be seen on the new auction quiz game "Going, Going, Gone" on BBC2.

When he has time to relax Eric enjoys listening to a variety of music including l8th Century and jazz.

He is also passionate about 60's music, the Motown catalogue, and was at one time a DJ with a show playing northern soul.

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Click here to buy Eric's invaluable guide to the fascinating and sometimes profitable world of antiques