A Babylon pot and a Bohemian saucer

Lindsay Neil and his Babylonian saucer
Lindsay Neil and his Babylonian saucer

Retired Selkirk GP Lindsay Neil brought a couple of pieces in to show the experts at the Antiques Roadshow’s visit to Floors Castle on Thursday ... one of which could have been one of the oldest pieces of the day.

While waiting in a queue, he said: “I haven’t got anything of value, but what I do have are things with interesting stories behind them, so I thought they might be interested in that.”

Showing us his oldest item, he said: “My father was in Baghdad in 1927, and he kicked this, thinking it was a stone.

“It turned out to be a little pot from the time of Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon in 500 BC.

“Years later, he invited [the famous archaeologist] Sir Leonard Woolley at Nottingham University, and showed him the pot, and he instantly said, ‘Ah yes, Ur of the Chaldees [birthplace of Abraham], 500BC’.

“I’m not expecting the pot to be worth anything much, probably a couple of quid.

Lindsay Neil and his 500BC pot

Lindsay Neil and his 500BC pot

“Very ancient stuff doesn’t have much value, for some reason ... it’s not pretty upon a shelf, it’s just a plain old earthenware pot.

“But it is of great interest to me, because my father found it and nearly kicked it to death, and stole it!”

His other piece was a small saucer, which he bought in Selkirk.

He took it to a museum in Holland, which had five similar pieces, which, he said, were “all cut by a travelling Bohemian glass cutter who made pieces like this all over Holland in 1790”.

“So these are very rare,” he added.