Hilary Kay is an independent consultant, lecturer, writer and broadcaster on antiques and collectables.
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A tinplate toy biplane by Märklin, which belonged to the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire
Hilary joined the Antiques Roadshow team of experts in 1978 and was delighted to get the opportunity to work with her childhood hero Arthur Negus – ‘Arthur was an inspiration, and became a guide and mentor during my first years on Antiques Roadshow’. Hilary worked for Sotheby’s for over 20 years as an auctioneer and Senior Director and left to establish a company which provides antiques-based events and entertainment. Hilary has also written or contributed to numerous books on the subjects of antiques and collectables and has appeared in many television and radio programmes.
Hilary has a particular interest in antique mechanical objects and one of her favourite Roadshow items was at Chatsworth House in 1996. It was a tinplate toy biplane by Märklin and actually belonged to the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire. The toy was based loosely on the Wright brothers’ biplane and despite being made of a very brittle form of plastic, had survived in almost perfect condition.
Another of Hilary’s passions is Rock Memorabilia and if asked to choose one item to see at a Roadshow, it would be one of The Beatles’ satin military uniforms worn on the album cover photograph for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
When she’s not busy running her business and travelling with the Roadshow, Hilary loves being out on the water: sailing, kayaking and windsurfing. When back on dry land, she spends a lot of time travelling to weird and wonderful places with her photographer husband.