“Antiques Roadshow” Expert Refuses To Value Relic From “Awful Business” Of Slave Trade

BBC’s Antiques Roadshow confronted a historical artifact with a past so dark that it left expert Ronnie Archer-Morgan at a loss for words – or rather, a price.

On the popular show, people often bring in old relics or heirlooms from their attics, hoping they might be worth something. However, the recent episode, filmed against the picturesque backdrop of Alexandra Gardens in Cardiff, took an unexpected turn when a guest presented an item deeply entangled with the grim history of the slave trade.

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“The item was a disc that acted as an endorsement of the professional reputation of an African slave trader in the West African port of Bonny in the 18th century,” host Fiona Bruce said in a voiceover.

Ronnie inspected the item and said it was an “amazing” find despite being associated with the “callous trade” of humans from the 17th to 19th centuries.

Ronnie Archer-Morgan said the item, brought on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, was “about trading in human life”

Image credits: Antiques Roadshow

“I want to make it absolutely clear that myself and we and the Antiques Roadshow wholly and unequivocally disapprove of the trade in ivory,” Ronnie told the woman who brought the item on the show. “But this ivory bangle here is not about trading in ivory, it’s about trading in human life, and it’s probably one of the most difficult things that I’ve ever had to talk about. But talk about it we must.”

The woman who brought the item revealed on the show that she got hold of the object from a family she used to look after.

“One of the members passed away and she was having a house sale,” she recalled. “And I bought that 36 years ago in the house sale for £3.”

The disc, which featured some beautiful calligraphy, had the trader’s name, Prince Jemmy of Grandy, inscribed. Ronnie believed the trader was an African himself and described him as a “despicable human being.”

The woman who appeared on the show with the item said she bought it for £3

Image credits: Antiques Roadshow

He also explained to viewers that the words “honest fellow” were also engraved on the item.

“I’d like to meet him and tell him how honest I think he is,” Ronnie said on the show.

The Antiques Roadshow star went on to say that he feels it’s his “cultural duty” to talk about the subject because his own “great-grandmother was a returned slave from Nova Scotia in Canada and came back to Sierra Leone and Freetown.”

Ronnie refused to put a value on the item that was associated with enslaved people

“I just don’t want to value it,” he finally said. “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,” he added. “And I just love you for bringing it to the roadshow.”

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Source: boredpanda.com

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