Antiques Roadshow: Rolex watch valued between £12k-15k

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The auctioneer admitted the find had “made his day” as he observed the knife handle on a recent episode of Antiques Roadshow. The BBC valuer assumed the object was a couple of thousand years old and explained his heart “skipped a beat” when he saw it. Valued between £500 and £800, the owner of the item said the price didn’t matter to him as much as the history of the rare item.

“So when I saw this earlier, my heart literally skipped a beat,” John commented, looking at the small object moulded into the shape of a man.

He asked: “So, what are you doing with such a beautiful object?”

The guest replied: “I found it metal detecting about 25 years ago.

“I was just walking back to the car and I got a signal, dug it and I thought it was actually a Roman statue until I cleaned it up.”

John continued: “Now before we go any further, I assume you’ve done all of the correct paperwork and let the authorities know?”

“Yes,” the guest replied. “It’s all registered with York Museum.”

When John asked what he knew about the date, the owner stated: “I think it’s at least first century.

“It’s a knife handle I believe, a wax spatula knife handle.”

He explained: “They used to wax tablets, they used to write on them, and then they used to heat the knife up wipe it clean, write on it and send it back.”

“Okay,” John answered. “And where have you got that information from?”

“From a professor at Oxford University,” the guest remarked, clearly having taken the time to research the unique object.

John commented “Okay, it’s going to be a little bit controversial because I agree, yes, first or second century AD, a couple of thousand years old.

“Made of bronze. Did they give you an indication as to who that is?”

“Hercules,” the owner answered, referring to the Roman mythological hero.

“So we’ve got the god, or demigod, Hercules,” John explained, adding: “But in that form and size… because a wax spatula like you say, would have a longer blade.

“So, to me, and like I say this is just a theory, it much more fits the blade of a scalpel to me. So was it a doctor’s piece for childbirth?

“None of that matters, because when you actually look at how beautiful the thing is and how old it is and what it represents, it’s stunning.

“It’s just made my day to see it. Value-wise, £500 to £800.”

“Oh nice,” the guest replied, adding: “It’s not about the value, it’s the fact that the last person to have touched that before me was a Roman and that’s what means everything to me.”

Antiques Roadshow is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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