Flog It's precious Welsh plate

Experts on the BBC auction show were intrigued by a Middle Eastern item with a Jewish connection


 A mysterious brass plate, inlaid with copper, silver and gold, which once belonged to a Jewish family in Swansea caught the eye in Flog It!, BBC One’s auction show broadcast on Sunday.

Its vendor Les wondered if it was a “sacrificial plate” edged with old Hebrew — he probably meant “sacramental”, since exotic as the Jews of Wales might be, they did not go in for sacrifice.

It certainly excited the programme’s resident expert who, although he suggested a reserve price of £300-400, thought it could attract more. 

As it did, far beyond expectations of a happy Les: the £2,200 it actually fetched in the saleroom left him with money to buy a motorbike.

Intrigued by the object, the programme contacted the buyer, who believed it to be a rare, early 20th-century piece containing “Jewish and Persian sentiments”. 

The decorative writing around the border is said to be a mixture of Arabic calligraphy and old Persian timurid. In the view of the buyer, the figure in the centre, who is depicted with a gold-tailed peacock perched on his head, is King Solomon, who, according to the Koran, could talk to animals.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive