David Barby

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David Barby
Born David John Barby
(1943-04-23)23 April 1943
Rugby, Warwickshire, England, UK
Died 25 July 2012(2012-07-25) (aged 69)
Coventry, England, UK
Nationality British
Occupation Antiques Expert
Television Personality
Years active 1990–2012

David John Barby FRICS (23 April 1943 – 25 July 2012) was an English antiques expert, known for his appearances on Bargain Hunt, Flog It! and similar BBC antiques television programmes.


Born in Rugby, Warwickshire, he was interested in antiques from age 12,[1] which led to his joining the profession on leaving school. He qualified aged 21 as a member of the Incorporated Society Of Valuers And Auctioneers, itself later merged into the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Barby started working for a local firm in Rugby, before leaving to work in London in 1974.[1] he was head hunted by Royal Leamington Spa-based auction house Locke and England,[2] and he joined them in 1978 as a manager and valuer. He later became a partner, retiring from the business in 2002.

Barby started his own independent valuation business, Hillmorton-based David J Barby and Associates, in the 1990s,[3] where he still worked at the time of his death.

Barby was well known for the charity work that he carried out, as a fund raiser for the Royal Leamington Spa Rehabilitation Hospital and Leamington Art Gallery. He was also president of the Friends of Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum.[2][4]


Barby appeared in the first episode of Flog It! in 2002 as the auctioneer, but was soon also employed as an expert. He was already becoming well known in a similar role on Bargain Hunt, and later appeared on Antiques Road Trip, where he became known by the nickname "The Master".[1][3] The makers of Bargain Hunt paid tribute to Barby in the episode broadcast on 1 October 2012 with a montage of his appearances shown at the end of the programme.[citation needed] A similar montage by the Antiques Road Trip was shown on 5 October 2012.


Barby stood in the Caldecott district of Rugby in 2002 as a prospective Conservative councillor, but came fourth in a ward which elected only three councillors.


Barby suffered a brain haemorrhage at his Rugby home on 12 July 2012, dying two weeks later on 25 July 2012 in a hospital in Coventry, aged 69.[1][2][3]


  1. ^ a b c d "Television antiques expert David Barby dies, aged 69". BBC News. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Death of ‘priceless’ Warwickshire auctioneer David Barby". Leamington Courier. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Dan Santy (27 July 2012). "Tributes paid to TV auctioneer David Barby". Rugby Observer. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Friends of Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum. "About FLAG". Friends of Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 

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