“Bares for Rares”: a portrait of all dealers in the popular junk show

Whoever benefits from Dr. Heide Rezepa-Zabel and Co. has successfully survived, at “Bares für Rares” you can go into the dealer room, where the actual music is playing. We introduce you to the team at 80 Euro Waldi.

Who would have thought in 2013 that Horst Lichter, who was successful as a TV chef at the time, would land an even bigger hit with the audience with a junk show. Hardly anyone would have bet a flake of butter on it at the time, but that’s exactly what happened with the street sweeper “Bares for Rares”. Of course, the team of the popular moderator played a not inconsiderable part of this, be it the experts such as the expert Albert Maier or the occupation of the dealer room. We introduce you to the audience favorites around Walter Lehnertz and Susanne Steiger. The video reveals which supposed sweethearts didn’t make it to them in the first place.

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These are the “Bares for Rares” dealers

Successful expertise is usually half the battle, but there can still be a surprise in the “Bares for Rares” dealer room. If you are lucky, it means a windfall, but sometimes the opposite, after all, all those involved are professionals who usually want to make a profit with their auctioned treasures. Of course, this also applies to veteran Walter Lehnertz, whom we would like to introduce to you first.

Cash for rare dealers
Group picture with lady: The last word is spoken in the dealer room at “Bares for Rares”. © ZDF / Frank W. Hempel

Walter Lehnertz

Since he took his place on the far left in the very first episode, Waltzer Lehnertz, who was trained as a groom, has become an indispensable part of “Bares für Rares”. His gruff, cordial manner quickly won many hearts, even if he dismissed one or the other work of art as a beating. Incidentally, his famous opening bid of 80 euros comes from an encounter with an unsympathetic seller, whom Waldi just wanted to fool, as he frankly explains here. In the meantime, not only has the amount become a cult, its inventor can also look forward to a lot of encouragement. If you want to visit Waldi, the best thing to do is to take a detour to the Eifel, where he runs his own business.

Walter Lehnertz
© ZDF / Frank W. Hempel

Ludwig Hofmaier

For years, the former gymnast formed the congenial partner of Walter Lehnertz, who praised many rarities over the clover with his Bavarian charm, albeit rarely struck. When he did, he mostly enjoyed sacred folk art, which he then sold on at flea markets in the south of the republic.

Before he became known to a larger audience with “Bares für Rares”, Ludwig Hofmaier led an eventful life, among other things as the operator of a discotheque. In his youth he covered the route from Regensburg to Rome on hands, which earned him the nickname “Handstand-Lucki”. When his motorhome burned out in an accident in 2019, the second-hand seller made headlines again away from the cameras. In 2020, the then 79-year-old retired from the limelight.

Ludwig Hofmaier
© ZDF / Guido Engels

Wolfgang Pauritsch

The Austrian Wolfgang Pauritsch forms the golden mean of the triumvirate and has also been on board since the beginning of the junk show. Born in Innsbruck, he discovered his passion for acting by chance. After he was supposed to ensure security in a Munich auction house, he jumped in for the prevented auctioneer and was able to score straight away. He then studied art history and opened his own art house. In addition to his work for ZDF, Wolfgang Paurisch is also part of the offshoot in his Austrian homeland.

Wolfgang Pauritsch
© ZDF / Guido Engels

Fabian Kahl

He is considered the bird of paradise for “Bares for Rares” and was only 22 years old when he first appeared in front of the camera for ZDF. At this point in time, the son of an antique dealer already had a lot of experience in his profession. Among other things, he ran his own business and ran a gallery for modern art. He is also an indispensable part of the junk show. Born in Thuringia, he is now living in his homeland again after having worked in Berlin, Leipzig and Cologne. At Brandenstein Castle, interested parties can have their treasures rated by the professional and his team on Sundays and sell them if they like. You can find more information on Fabian Kahl’s website.

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Fabian Kahl
© ZDF / Frank Dicks

Susanne Steiger

After a season, the jeweler Susanne Steiger replaced her colleague Sandra Vanessa Schäfer in the dealer room and has since been part of the inventory of the junk show. Jewelery is the great passion of the Aachen native, who likes to scare her competition with a high entry-level bid. In addition to her work for television, the passionate show jumper and trained tax specialist runs a shop in Bornheim. In 2016, Susanne Steiger also started to develop her own diamond collection. Fans have to put a lot more than Waldis 80 euros on the table for this, but they can still wrap a piece of jewelry designed by the popular retailer around their finger.

Susanne Steiger
© ZDF / Alexandra Evang

Daniel Meyer

A season later than his colleague Susanne Steiger, Daniel Meyer also took a seat in the dealer room of “Bares for Rares”. Born in Augsburg, he studied art history in Münster and opened his own auction house there in 2008, which invites you to a big party four times a year. This makes Daniel Meyer the only real colleague of Wolfgang Pauritsch. If you want to see how he wields the hammer, you can visit him at one of his auctions. You can find all information on the dealer’s website.

Daniel Meyer
© ZDF / Frank W. Hempel

Julian Schmitz-Avila

Julian Schmitz-Avila was born with the antiques trade. Both parents ran a corresponding business, and he completed his training as a retailer in the family business. The Bonn-born specialist for baroque furniture now runs an antiques shop in Bad Breisig together with his brother Lennart Neumann. The siblings went to flea markets together from childhood and learned early to appreciate beautiful things, as Julian Schmitz-Avila reveals on the website of his art dealer.

Julian Schmitz-Avila
© ZDF / Frank W. Hempel

Elke Velten-Tönnies

The jeweler and gallery owner Elke Velten-Tönnies joined “Bares für Rares” in 2016 and can usually be seen behind the desk when her colleague Susanne Steiger takes a break. This is of course due to the fact that the two ladies’ profession is similar. Even though the Cologne native initially trained as a chemical laboratory assistant, she devoted herself to trading in gold and jewelry at an early age, including in Wuppertal and Mönchengladbach. In 2019 she expanded her field of activity to include a gallery in Bonn.

Every Velten
© ZDF / Frank W. Hempel

Dr. Elizabeth Nüdling

One year after her colleague Elke Velten-Tönnies, Dr. Elisabeth Nüdling was part of the “Bares für Rares” team in front of the camera for the first time and since then has also mostly been seen in the dealer room when Susanne Steiger is performing other duties. The art historian and trained gemologist says she has a particular interest in pearls, diamonds and precious stones (source: ZDF). Together with her mother, she runs the Kunsthaus Nüdling in her hometown of Fulda.

Dr. Elisabeth Nüdling
© ZDF / Frank W. Hempel

Esther Ollick

The self-proclaimed furniture activist Esther Ollick has occupied a niche in “Bares for Rares” since 2017. Born in Düsseldorf, she works as a preparer and redesigner of old objects and is accordingly interested in things that she can process into new creations in her workshop. Anyone who is fundamentally interested in upcycling can find all the information they need about Esther Ollick and her profession on the versatile expert’s official website.

Esther Ollick
© ZDF / Frank W. Hempel

Markus Wildhagen

Anyone who sells their sweetheart at “Bares für Rares” to Markus Wildhagen from Düsseldorf should pay attention to every detail of the furnishings the next time they go to the cinema. In Unterbilk, the dealer operates one of the largest rental shops for props, be it for films, plays or television programs. The productions that made use of Markus Wildhagen’s props include “The Miracle of Bern” and “Grand Budapest Hotel”. You can get your own impression of the enormous pool on the shop’s website

Markus Wildhagen
© ZDF / Frank W. Hempel

Jan Čížek

The native Czech runs a shop for objects in industrial design in Cologne and strikes accordingly for unusual objects. Before he discovered his passion for designer pieces, he worked in the restaurant business. His business partner Anja Zerlett is not only his partner, but also the daughter of musician Helmut Zerlett, band leader of the Harald Schmidt show and keyboard player of Marius Müller-Westernhagen. For some time she worked as the head makeup artist of “Bares for Rares”.

Jan Cizek
© ZDF / Frank W. Hempel

Steffen Mandel

Steffen Mandel (far right in the picture) has been in the antique trade since the 1970s, but he also appears as a musician. He plays guitar and mandolin in his own cover band and is also active in other formations together with drummer Hans-Peter Ernst. He is particularly fond of classical rock music. He also worked for many years as an entertainer on cruises and in tourism management. Today he runs an antique shop in Lohmar.

Cash for rare dealers
© ZDF / Frank W. Hempel

None of the people presented here is exclusively employed by “Bares for Rares”. Ultimately, they are all professionals who make a living primarily from their own businesses. Accordingly, they cannot always be on site, which is why the team is constantly being expanded. We are therefore introducing you to four other dealers in brief. Before that, you can watch the most expensive pieces from “Bares for Rares” in the video.

Thorsden Schlösser, Christian Vechtel, Roman Runkel and David Suppes

The final quartet has been part of “Bares für Rares” since 2017 and is represented in the dealer room every now and then. Thorsden Schlösser (top left in the picture) is a trained retail salesman and master carpenter. He has been running his own antique shop in Düren since 1994. Christian Vechtel (top right in the picture) is a trained art historian and runs an antique shop with an auction house in Münster. Roman Runkel (bottom left in the picture) is a restaurateur and came to dawdle as a collector of historical advertising signs as well as everything from the food, drink and fairground sectors. David Suppes (bottom right in the picture) initially worked as a lecturer at the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences in the fields of economics and media before he got into the antique business with his father.

Cash for rare dealers
© ZDF / Frank W. Hempel

“Bares für Rares” runs on ZDF on weekdays at 3:05 pm, and the ZDF Neo offshoot broadcasts repeats at 8:50 am and 6:30 pm. The concept has not changed to this day. People like you and me have their exhibits assessed by experts and then haggle over the price in the dealer room.

Are you a junk expert? Test your knowledge in the “Bares for Rares” quiz:

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