Celebrity antiques dealer shares update after being 'smashed to bits' by hammer-wielding thugs during £100,000 raid

3 June 2024, 14:39 | Updated: 3 June 2024, 14:57

Ian Towning has issued a message of thanks for all the support he has receieved since the attack
Ian Towning has issued a message of thanks for all the support he has receieved since the attack. Picture: Instagram/Alamy

By Flaminia Luck

A celebrity antiques expert has shared an update after he was "smashed to bits" during an attack on his shop in west London by two men wielding hammers.

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Ian Towning, 76, has thanked fans for their "love and support" saying he was much better after the horrifying attack earlier this year.

Two others, including a security guard, were also injured and thousands of pounds worth of jewellery was stolen during the raid on the Bourbon Hanby Antiques Arcade, Chelsea, on 26th March.

Mr Towning, who has appeared as an antiques expert on ITV's Dickinson's Real Deal and Posh Pawn on Channel 4, has shown his gratitude to the "21,000-plus people from around the globe" who sent him "get well soon" wishes.

In a video shared to Instgram, he said a colleague had been "hit so seriously on his head and had to have stitches" during the attack.

Mr Towning later added: "Me, [it] doesn't matter, I've recovered very well, smashed to bits, but doesn't matter."

He reassured customers that he has 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".

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Mr Towning shared footage of the terrifying attack on his Instagram shortly after it happened.

In the video, two men wearing black clothing, balaclavas and gloves can be seen entering the shop in broad daylight wielding hammers which they use to shatter glass displays.

The thugs can also be seen pushing and shoving members of staff - one to the floor as they attempt the grab as much as they can.

Mr Towning also shared images of the injuries sustained from the attack, including bloody gashes to the head and face.

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Injury sustained to head and face during attack
Injury sustained to head and face during attack. Picture: Instagram/Ian.towning

In an earlier post soon after the attack, Mr Towning said: "I appreciate every one of you who has reached out to see how we are doing and to pass on your best wishes.

"I am in incredible pain and I am sure you can appreciate that I need a bit of time and space.

"I find it very difficult to talk about the incident which saw myself and my security guard seriously injured.

Thank you for your kindness and consideration at this very difficult time."

Read more: Dramatic moment police swoop on masked thieves as pair ransack opticians for designer swag

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

The store has been robbed previously in 2008, when three men with sledgehammers and a gun which left Mr Towning injured.

The Metropolitan Police has appealed for witnesses to come forward but so far it appears no one has yet been arrested.

Police were called to the Bourbon-Hanby Arcade on Sydney Street after two men entered the premises armed with hammers
Police were called to the Bourbon-Hanby Arcade on Sydney Street after two men entered the premises armed with hammers. Picture: Alamy

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