About me

Danish-born Ceramics Historian and Broadcaster

Interested in all aspects of Man's many Uses of Clay  
(talk: Beyond Earth  from Stone Age to Space Age, a Brief History of Clay)
Regular contributor to the Antiques Roadshow (since 1986 - 2021 ongoing).
Own Antiques TV and radio series plus writer/presenter on several BBC TV documentaries in China, Scandinavia and England.

Lars Tharp Ltd 

An art consultancy, with focus on Ceramics and William Hogarth

  • STOP PRESS, Tate Gallery November 2021 to March 2022
    Hogarth and Europe  (LT contributor to)

Talks and lectures worldwide, on Clay and Culture.  
Audiences range from educational institutions (i.e. universities, schools, etc) to other learned plus arts and heritage societies (including The Arts Society (accredited speaker), National Trust, The Royal Institution, The Harveyan Society, The Oriental Ceramic Society, The English Ceramics Circle), plus friends of various Museums and Galleries (e.g. the V&A, Ashmolean, Fitzwilliam) as well as, to Festivals, ConferencesSocial, Corporate and Business gatherings as well as private functions. 

BritCham Shanghai and Beijing (since 1999)

Keynote, motivational and after-dinner / guest speaker -over 40 years in the worlds of Art.

Devizing and leading Cultural Tours for various travel companies (including Martin Randall Travel and ACE) with visits to visiting China, Scandinavia, Germany as well as London and other UK venues.

Several antipodean tours for the Arts Society:
Australia all thirty-six Societies) 
NZ societies all seven;.

Penang, Malaysia, (inaugural and subsequent) .


  • engaged in the auction world since 1977, joining Sothebys, director  and auctioneer of the firm (until 1993; 
  • Set up own consultancy (1993-present) advising individuals, institutions and companies on the purchase, care and disposal of all artworks - Ceramics and Oriental Works of Art a speciality.   
  • Served on juries of the Annual Art Fund Prize (2009 and 2010) 
  • As curator and museum director (Foundling Museum, London)
    Have created and/or  presided over several exhibitions including:    
         Hogarth’s China ( London1997 and Wedgwood 1999); 
         Celebrating Ceramics (2005-2006) (three exhibitions for York Museums Trust 
         Threads of Feeling (Foundling Museum, with guest curator John Styles)
  • Inaugural member of York Museums' Trust's Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA);
  • president of International Ceramics Festival, Aberystwyth (to date, 2021)

As a freelance broadcaster I work regularly with the BBC: from 1986 to 2018 on the Antiques Roadshow, plus dozens of TV and Radio programmes including my own series, Inside Antiques (BBC2), Hidden Treasures (chairman and writer, Radio 4), and on the Art of the Baroque (Radio 2), not to mention the occasional contribution to Woman's Hour  - on Scandinavian knitwear ; on Archive on Four with Men in Bow Ties.  In 2011 and 2013 I filmed two documentaries on the China Trade shown on the BBC and still syndicated throughout the world: Treasures of Chinese Porcelain and China in Six Easy Pieces.  I also filmed One Man and his Pug - a journey with William Hogarth and his pet dogs, in the hope of re-discovering the long-missing terracotta model by L-F Roubiliac.

Regular contributoe on Griff Rys Jones's Quizeum plus several other entertainments including Call My Bluff and University Challenge (alumni), winners Christmas 2013 


Hogarth’s China (1997); the Little Brown Encyclopaedia of Antiques (with Paul Atterbury); Treasures in your Home (Reader’s Digest, with editor David Battie); and two books for the BBC under the Roadshow banner, one on How to spot a Fakes, the other on 20th Century Antiques.
contributor/ occasional columnist
 to newspapers and magazines

In brief

Born in 1954 in Copenhagen, educated in England. Influenced from an early age by my Danish grandfather, H C Broholm of Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen   I read archaeology ('Arch and Anth') at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University (1973-76).  The Master of my college  was the legendary Joseph Needham, instigator of the multi-volume History of Chinese Science and Civilization (CUP). At Sothebys (1977-1993) specializingin Chinese Ceramics under Julian Thompson;  director and auctioneer and representing Sotheby's throughout its European offices.  

Honours and Elections

  • Freeman Weaver of the City of London, 2003; Court member 
  • Honorary Doctorate of Arts (HonDArt, DMU 2003) 
  • Elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA) in 2011
  • Honorary Doctor of Letters (HonDLitt, Leicester University 2016).
  • Honorary Doctor of Arts (DeMontfort University, Leicester, 2010); visiting professor
  • Appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Leicestershire (DL) (February 2021)