Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

An item with huge historical significance on The Antiques Roadshow has been met with a refusal from an expert to value it due to its dark past.

In a surprising turn as the BBC One TV show visited Cardiff, expert Ronnie Archer-Morgan was met with an item that he wouldn’t place a financial value on.

Opening the valuation process, he explained: “I want to make it absolutely clear that myself and we in The Antiques Roadshow wholly and unequivocally disapprove of the trade in ivory.”

The camera then zooms in to show the ornate ivory bracelet which is engraved with text and in perfect looking condition as it sits on a purple cushion.

Brought in by a guest who revealed she bought it in a house sale for just £3 not realising the history behind it, and later researched and found out the disturbing truth behind it.

Ronnie then continued: “But this ivory bangle here is not about trading in ivory, it’s about trading in human life.

“It’s probably one of the most difficult things that I’ve ever had to talk about, but talk about it we must.”

Describing the bracelet as ‘amazing’, he then explained the history and the ‘callous’ links to the slave trade of the 17th and 18th century.

BBC One

Looking more closely at the bangle it has an inscription reading ‘Prince Jemmy of Grandy’, who was likely an African man himself who then traded others in the slave trade.

The bracelet and disc was created and used to act as an endorsement of the professional reputation of an African slave trader and has words such as ‘honest fellow’ also engraved.

However Ronnie slammed the original owner as he added: “I’d like to meet him and tell him how honest I think he is.”

When it came to the valuation, Ronnie stated: “I just don’t want to value it. I do not want to put a price on something that signifies such an awful business.

“But the value is in the lessons that this can tell people. The value is in researching this and what we can find out.

“And I just love you for bringing it in and thank you so much for making me so sad.”

The clip has been shared on Reddit, with many applauding the expert’s stance and refusal to value the bracelet. One person wrote: “Fascinating, disgusting, sad, maddening, surreal. Thank you for sharing this.”

Another shared: “Very interesting artefact, it really belongs in a museum – bequeathed or donated.”

BBC One

“This is how you recognize and talk about history. Taking these monuments of the past and putting them into the proper context of the era in which we come from,” said a third.

“As a historian who has to handle uncomfortable topics frequently, he handled this perfectly. I need to steal a page from him,” posted another.

A fifth shared: “Props to this guy for clearly being so emotionally touched on so many levels and not being brought to anger or even raise his voice at her or anyone present. Just saying what needs to be said, and making a statement in the end by not wanting to value it. What composure.”