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Posts Tagged ‘treasures’

Anglo-Saxon ring engraved with Christian and pagan symbols (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:


The Saffron Walden Museum in Essex has acquired a rare Anglo-Saxon gold ring engraved with a combination of Christian and pagan symbols. The ring was discovered in 2011 by metal detectorist Tony Carter in Uttlesford, Essex, and was declared treasure. In order to buy the ring and four other gold and silver artifacts discovered in the area, the museum had to raised £60,000 and £7,500 in donations. Since the grants were matching funds, the donations were necessary for the whole plan to come together. The campaign was successful and now all five pieces are going on display in a new ...

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What is this hinged imperial white jade piece? (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

An imperial white jade object from the 18th century that is as mysterious as it is beautiful will be going up for auction at Bonhams next month. Made for the Qianlong Emperor (reigned 1735-1796), sixth emperor of the Qing Dynasty, the piece is made out of two hollowed rectangles that are connected to a central triangle via two hinges. They hinges work, allowing the rectangles to move from laid out straight to fully vertical.

The hinge-fitting embodies much of the artistic and historical pre-occupations of the Qianlong period. Carved from exceptionally fine and lustrous white stone, with even the ...

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Scrap metal dealer finds lost Fabergé Imperial Egg (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

So maybe the $7 flea market Renoir didn’t turn out to be the Antiques Roadshow-style fairy tale it seemed to be at first blush, but that story pales in comparison to the tale of an anonymous scrap metal dealer from an undisclosed Midwestern state who bought a gold egg clock at a flea market antiques stall for $14,000 and found out it was one of the eight lost Imperial Eggs made for the Tsar of All the Russias by jeweler Carl Fabergé.

Portrait of the Empress Maria Feodorovna by Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoy, 1882From 1885 to 1917, Fabergé made at least 50 Imperial Eggs for the Romanov emperors Alexander III and ...

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Rare Roman intaglio bracelet to go on display (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:


On July 26th, 2012, a metal detectorist found a Roman bracelet near Dalton, Cumbria, northwestern England. It was broken in two pieces: a twisted tube made out of spiralled silver wire and a hinged round bezel with a red gemstone intaglio of Jupiter. Dating to the 2nd or 3rd century A.D., this bracelet is a very rare artifact, especially so for the Furness area because no Roman structures have ever been found there. Plenty of Roman coins have been, but not high-end jewelry like this piece. The artifact thus testifies to the wide range of Roman trade reaching the ends ...

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Conserving the Staffordshire Hoard (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

The 4,000 Anglo-Saxon pieces of gold, silver and garnet weapons fittings discovered in Staffordshire field in 2009 and in a 2012 follow-up excavation impressed with the exceptional quality of workmanship even when they were still encrusted with soil. The cleaning process has revealed metalwork and gemwork of such sophistication experts aren’t even sure how it was accomplished. Because the pieces were damaged when they were stripped from their original weapons, conservators have had a unique chance to examine construction features that are invisible in complete pieces like those discovered at Sutton Hoo or other burial sites.

Conserving intricately decorated ...

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Couple walking dog find biggest gold hoard in US (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

A couple walking the dog on their property in Northern California last spring discovered the biggest and most valuable gold coin hoard ever unearthed in the United States. They were treading the same well-worn path they’ve trod hundreds of times for the dog’s daily constitutional when they spotted the rusted top of a metal can sticking up out of the eroded ground. They dug the can out with a stick and took it home.

It was so heavy lugging it back proved to be quite an effort. They figured there was lead paint inside. When the lid cracked off the ...

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A lady’s bag at the court of Mosul in 1300 (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

The ancient city of Mosul on the west bank of the Tigris in what is today Iraq, once home to the palace of King Sennacherib and Library of Ashurbanipal, has had many different rulers seek to profit from its location as a hub in trade routes connecting Persia, India and the Mediterranean. In 1262, it was conquered by the Mongol forces of Hulagu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan who expanded the southwestern Mongol empire from Uzbekistan to Syria.

Hulagu was not known for his light hand. Any cities where he encountered resistance were destroyed and their inhabitants slaughtered. When the ...

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Looter caught with Roman gold, silver hoard (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

An unnamed and unauthorized metal detectorist found a late Roman gold and silver hoard in the forest near Ruelzheim in Germany’s southwestern Rhineland-Palatinate state and dug it up so he could sell it on the black market. The authorities are not releasing specifics on how this scofflaw was discovered hoarding an ancient hoard except to note that “the looter rendered up [the pieces] himself – but only under pressure from investigators.” That means they caught him first and persuaded him to surrender the loot. The police have reason to believe he may have already succeeded in selling some of the ...

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Rare Edward VI shilling found in Canada (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

Retired security system specialist Bruce Campbell (no relation to Ash from Evil Dead) was looking for Victorian-era coins and artifacts along the Gorge Waterway in Victoria, British Columbia, on December 13th, 2013, when he found a coin buried three or four inches deep in the mud flats at low tide. It was so caked in the area’s characteristic blue clay that he couldn’t identify it. He posted pictures of his finds — an 1891 Canadian nickel, a 1960s a silver dime, an early Canadian penny and the mystery coin — on the Official Canadian Metal Detecting forum where he ...

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Anglo-Saxon game piece found at royal complex (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

Archaeologists with the University of Reading excavating an Anglo-Saxon royal complex at Lyminge, Kent, have unearthed an extremely rare board game piece dating to the 7th century. It’s the first discovery of this particular form of gaming piece in 130 years, and it’s the only time one has ever been found outside of a burial context. This one was unearthed in a room adjacent to the feasting hall, a place where it would actually have been used in active play rather than as a ceremonial grave good.

Alongside this astonishing discovery, Dr Gabor Thomas and his team have also ...

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Celtic brooch found among Viking artifacts in storage (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

Barry Ager, curator of the British Museum’s Early Medieval Scandinavian and continental Europe collection, has discovered a Celtic brooch dating from the 8th-9th century hidden among Viking burial artifacts found in the late 19th century and kept in the museum’s stores. The objects were excavated in Lilleberge, Norway, in 1886 by British archaeologist Alfred Heneage Cocks. The 9th-10th century burial was a long barrow 128 feet in length containing a 30 foot boat, grave goods and the skeletal remains of a high status woman. The artifacts included beaded necklaces, two oval brooches, a whalebone plaque decorated with horse heads ...

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Large gold fibula and pendants found in Denmark (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

Metal detectorist Morten Kris Nielsen was exploring a farmer’s field near Spentrup on the Danish peninsula of Jutland when he found a gold fibula, a brooch used to fasten a cloak. Without even cleaning it, Nielsen brought it directly to archaeologist Benita Clemmensen at the Museum of Jutland. He was sure there was more where that came from, so that same day he returned to the find site and unearthed a second piece of the fibula and two crescent-shaped gold pendants with stylized birds’ heads at each end of the crescents. Museum archaeologists then excavated the spot and found ...

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Large gold fibula and pendants found in Denmark (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

Metal detectorist Morten Kris Nielsen was exploring a farmer’s field near Spentrup on the Danish peninsula of Jutland when he found a gold fibula, a brooch used to fasten a cloak. Without even cleaning it, Nielsen brought it directly to archaeologist Benita Clemmensen at the Museum of Jutland. He was sure there was more where that came from, so that same day he returned to the find site and unearthed a second piece of the fibula and two crescent-shaped gold pendants with stylized birds’ heads at each end of the crescents. Museum archaeologists then excavated the spot and found ...

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Swedish woman finds 2,000-year-old gold ring (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:


Camilla Lundin was walking through a field in the village of Gudhem in southern Sweden when she came across a pretty gold ring. It loops around itself once, so when she first found it she thought it was a spiral leg band for a chicken. Her husband didn’t think much of it either. It was her brother who identified it as an ancient artifact after she sent him a photograph of the ring.

“When he told me it was an ancient gold ring, it felt like a gift from the underworld,” Lundin told The Local. “It was my magnificent ...

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16th c. coins fall out of jug found on Lindisfarne (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

In June of 2003, builder Richard Mason was renovating a home on Lindisfarne, the tidal island also known as the Holy Island because of the 7th century monastery founded by Saint Aidan that brought Christianity to the north of England, when he found a funny old jug while hand digging under a drain pipe. He looked inside, didn’t see anything and tossed it in the back of his van. He stored the jug in his father’s basement and thought nothing of it until Christmas of 2011 when he decided to clean all the mud and muck off of it and ...

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600 ancient seals found at cult temple of Jupiter (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

Archaeologists from the University of Münster excavating the ancient sanctuary of Jupiter Dolichenus near the town of Dülük in southern Turkey have unearthed more than 600 stamp and cylinder seals dating from between the 7th and the 4th centuries B.C. Seals were used as votive offerings to the gods and as such have been found at many ancient sanctuaries, but the sheer numbers found here make the discovery unique.

“The amazingly large number proves how important seals and amulets were for the worshipping of the god to whom they were consecrated as votive offerings”, according to Classical scholar [and excavation ...

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Prince Henry’s hawking vervel found in Norfolk (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

A small silver ring and shield that once identified a bird of prey used for hunting by Henry Frederick Stuart, Prince of Wales, eldest son of King James I, was discovered by metal detectorists Jason Jackson and Alan Daynes in the east Norfolk town of Cley-next-the-Sea last year. While historic hawking vervels, as these rings are called, are not uncommon in the area — the Castle Museum in Norwich has more vervels in its permanent collection than the British Museum — royal ones are rare. One belonging to King Henry VIII’s brother-in-law and standard bearer Charles Brandon, first duke ...

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Broighter Gold returns to Limavady for brief visit (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

A hoard of Iron Age gold discovered in 1896 by farmers plowing a field in Broighter, near Limavady, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, is coming home for a quick 11-day visit. The famed gold pieces, minus what is arguably the most famous piece of them all, will be on display at the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre from November 12th through 23rd. This is the first homecoming for the artifacts which were sold away almost as quickly as they were found.

The Broighter Hoard dates to the 1st century B.C. and consists of a miniature boat made out of sheet ...

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Crosby Garret Helmet returns to Cumbria (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

The exceptional bronze cavalry helmet and face mask discovered by a metal detectorist in the Cumbrian hamlet of Crosby Garrett is finally on display at its home museum, the Tullie House Museum in Carlisle, Cumbria.

You may recall the tragic tale of how a priceless, unique, internationally important ancient Roman helmet fell through a gaping loophole in the UK’s Treasure Act to be sold to an anonymous private collector. A summary for those of you who missed the story the first time around: the helmet was found in 67 pieces in May of 2010. The Treasure Act of ...

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San Gennaro treasure shown outside Naples for the first time (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

Reliquary bust of San Gennaro commissioned by King Charles II of Anjou, 1304-5San Gennaro, the bishop of Naples who was martyred by Diocletian in 305 A.D. and is now the city’s most beloved patron saint, is richer than the Queen of England. People have been showering him with gifts since the 14th century, and thanks to the unstinting efforts of seven centuries of deeply devout custodians, his treasure remains intact despite Naples’ long, tortured history of foreign conquest and natural disasters. Now its 21,000 objects from gem-festooned necklaces to gold ostensories (containers that hold the consecrated Host) to silver and gold statues of exquisite artistry form a collection so valuable that it ...

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US returns silver griffin rhyton to Iran (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

The United States has returned a silver rhyton in the shape of a griffin to Iran 10 years after it was seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This is a shocking development, to say the least. When I first wrote about the rhyton languishing forlorn in an ICE warehouse in Queens in 2010, the notion of repatriation was so remote as to seem impossible. ICE special agent in charge of cultural property James McAndrew put it bluntly: “This piece can’t go back.” Arranging for the return of looted artifacts is the kind of thing diplomats do, and the US ...

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Museum buys Kelly Clarkson’s Jane Austen ring (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

The cabochon turquoise and gold ring that was bought at auction last July by singer Kelly Clarkson will not be departing English soil after all. A local museum has raised the funds to buy it from the singer and keep it in the country.

According to British law, objects of cultural patrimony 50 years old or older and above a certain monetary value must be reviewed by an expert committee before they are licensed for export. If the committee finds that the artifact is of national importance, it recommends that the Culture Ministry block export to give a local ...

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Intact Sarmatian burial found strewn with gold (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

Last month, archaeologists excavating a mound in the Filippovka burial ground in the Orenburg region of Russia’s Southern Ural steppes discovered a rare intact burial from the nomadic Persian-speaking Sarmatian people who lived in the area from around 500 B.C. until 400 A.D. The burial ground has 29 funerary mounds, known as kurgans, almost all of which have been thoroughly excavated by archaeologists since the 1980s and thoroughly plundered by looters since antiquity. Archaeologists still work the site and have found important artifacts from Sarmatian daily life like hunting tools, household goods, but they thought there was no chance of ...

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Dirty scrap metal turns out to be Viking silver (The History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from The History Blog:

In April of 2012, David Taylor was helping his brother-in-law Andrew Coulter remove stones from his newly plowed field in Inishargy near Kircubbin, County Down, Northern Ireland, when he spied a muddy piece of metal perched on a rock. Its distorted open ring shape captured David’s interest. He picked the piece up and found it was soft metal which made him think it might be an object worth keeping, perhaps an expensive piece of machinery. When he brought it back home and cleaned it, his wife thought it was just some dirty scrap, an old discarded U-bolt bracket that David ...

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