Bronze pig

Antiques Roadshow’s poor sign of value?


In my article of 30 July 2023, I reported on the sale of a 4-inch high Japanese cloisonne vase at auction after it had been purchased for only a couple of pounds in an Epsom High Street charity shop.

Readers may recall that the charity shop find referred to sold for many thousands of pounds, so when I discovered that one of my own charity shop finds was identical to a bronze wild boar that featured in an episode of the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow TV programme, I became very excited.

Upon discovering that my porcine statuette was Roman and potentially worth ten thousand pounds, I positioned it away from Dobby, my cat on a much higher shelf so it would not get knocked over and damaged.

The Antiques Roadshow expert advised the young man who dug up his bronze Roman wild boar as a child to report his find, but who should anyone in Surrey report similar finds to?  

Dr Simon Maslin FSA AClfA is the Finds Liaison Officer for Surrey who works on behalf of the Portable Antiquities Scheme for Surrey County Council at the Surrey History Centre in Woking, Surrey. 

The role of Dr Maslin is to identify archaeological finds in England and Wales, but this does not include charity shop finds with no secure provenance like my bronze boar. 

Dr Maslin is unable to consider finds unless they are archaeological items found (not bought) locally and he cannot provide assistance with valuations.

The items considered therefore include my metal detecting finds eg the medieval cruciform pendants shown in the photo because Dr Maslin is the point of contact for items that people may find when metal detecting, gardening or out walking etc which may be part of the local archaeological record.  He is also the person to contact for any finds which need reporting under the 1996 Treasure Act. 

If Dr Simon Maslin had appeared on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow TV programme, he would have been quick to tell the millions of people watching at home that the bronze boar identical to the one I found in a charity shop was not Roman and that it was in fact of far eastern origin, most probably Javanese and a modern reproduction that is only worth a few pounds – not ten thousand pounds as claimed by the Antiques Roadshow expert (pigs may fly).    

If nothing else, my miniature, bronze Javanese wild boar figure has become a conversation piece that has enabled me to write this article about who to contact when real Roman artifacts are dug up in a garden.  

My bronze wild boar has now been returned to its original position on a lower shelf, as I no longer live in fear of Dobby the cat knocking it over.  

The Portable Antiquities Scheme website and database can be accessed through the British Museum’s website at

Related Reports:

Urning a big profit on rare Epsom find

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