“Never seen one of those on Antiques Roadshow” Mudlarker discovers 18th century phallus


A MUDLARKER discovered an eight-inch “18th century” jade penis while searching for hidden treasures.

Lara Maiklem yesterday shared an image of the solid green phallus which she describes as being one of the “strangest things” that’s been found at the Thames shoreline.

An image shows Lara holding up the detailed, olive-green figure which even includes a dragon head at the base.

After doing some research, history buffs believe it could date back to the 18th century and originated from Asia.

UK News
Phallus jade object. ©Lara Maiklem on Instagram @london.mudlark

The bizarre discovery was found in Wapping, East London last year which was known as the “Sailor Town” at the time and was visited by ships from all over the world.

Lara, 50, believes the jade phallus may have been a gift which a sailor may have thrown overboard after having second thoughts.

Sharing the x-rated treasure on her Facebook page London Mudlark: Lara Maiklem Mudlarking, she added: “It’s jade, probably from China and likely to be 18th or 19th century.

“Maybe a sailor brought it back from his travels and chucked it overboard after thinking twice about taking it home to his wife.” 

The post has caused a stir on social media – attracting more than 2.4k likes and over 400 comments. 

Tim Fanshawe wrote: “Never seen one of those on Antiques Roadshow.”  

James Vaughn-spencer commented: “Make sure you get it appraised you wouldn’t want to get shafted if you sell it…” 

Lalla Merlin said: “Maybe the sailor thought his wife would like it too much.” 

Ian Richardson, Treasure Registrar at the British Museum said: “That’s one to make you blush.

“The glazed surface makes it look old but I wonder if it isn’t of more recent Eastern origin.” 

Speaking today Lara added: “[It was] partially sticking out of the mud at Wapping.

“It’s pretty obvious what it is, but a bit of Googling revealed more information.” 

“We’ve had trouble getting it to a specialist over lockdown, but hope to get a clearer idea of age soon. We have no idea what it’s worth.” 

Mudlarking is an activity similar to beachcombing but takes place in mud.

Wapping was a sailor town and said to be England’s first dockland area. 

The proximity to the river gave it a strong maritime character.

It was inhabited by sailors, mast-makers and boat-builders from all over the world throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. 

Many social media users believe that the item could be an ancient fertility statue.