Celebrity antiques expert who was ‘smashed to bits’ in hammer attack gives injury update

A celebrity antiques expert who was attacked by two men with hammers has said he has “recovered very well” and thanked fans for their support.

Ian Towning, 76, said he was much better after being “smashed to bits” when attackers targeted his store in March.

The duo damaged property and stole thousands of pounds worth of jewellery during the raid on the Bourbon Hanby Antiques Arcade in Chelsea, west London. Two others, including a security guard, were also injured.

Ian Towning on The Alan Titchmarsh Show in 2012. Pic: Steve Meddle/Shutterstock
Ian Towning on The Alan Titchmarsh Show in 2012. Pic: Steve Meddle/Shutterstock

Mr Towning, who has appeared as an antiques expert on ITV‘s Dickinson’s Real Deal and Posh Pawn on Channel 4, issued the update on his condition as he thanked “the 21,000-plus people from around the globe who sent me amazing wishes of ‘get well soon’.”

In a video on his Instagram page, he said a colleague had been “hit so seriously on his head and had to have stitches” during the attack, and added: “Me, [it] doesn’t matter, I’ve recovered very well, smashed to bits, but doesn’t matter.”

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Mr Towning revealed he had now put in a “wonderful security system” at his store and assured customers that “all your jewellery that you leave with me is safe and sound”.

He said: “Give us all your support, we need all the support we can get – and we’ve got a lot of it.”

The antiques expert laughed slightly as he added: “Lately, people have gone ballistic. I don’t know why, I think it’s a sympathy thing.

“They’ve been so wonderful and so supportive. I just don’t know how to say thank you”.

Bourbon-Hanby Antiques Arcade in Chelsea, London, where three people were injured as two men armed with hammers stole thousands of pounds worth of jewellery. Police were called to Sydney Street, SW3, on Tuesday after two men entered the premises armed with hammers. The two men damaged property inside the shop and stole thousands of pounds worth of jewellery, the Metropolitan Police said. Picture date: Friday March 29, 2024.
Bourbon-Hanby Antiques Arcade in Chelsea. Pic: PA

Mr Towning first opened his antiques store at the Chelsea Antiques Market in 1976 before opening the Bourbon Hanby Arcade in 1997.

The store was also robbed in 2008, when three men with sledgehammers and a gun left Mr Towning badly injured.

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