81 gold and silver items recently found in the same field as the Staffordshire Hoard, discovered in 2009, have been declared ‘Treasure’. The Anglo Saxon objects, dating from the seventh century, include a helmet check piece and cross-shaped mount, will be valued by the Treasure Valuation Committee at the British Museum at the end of March.
The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest collection of Anglo Saxon gold ever to be found in England. The first find, in 2009, consisted of 3,900 gold items. Some of the gold in these pieces was traced to Istanbul in modern-day Turkey and the gems (garnets) to India, demonstrating that the Anglo Saxons were traders.
The original hoard was purchased for £3.3m and Stoke-on-Trent City Council, which jointly owns the hoard with the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, plans to start a fundraising campaign to buy the new items.
A selection of items from the original hoard can currently be viewed in Stoke Museum and at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. I have seen the collection several times and it is beautiful. Many of the items are set with garnets and the quality of craftsmanship is stunning, particularly given that many of the pieces are very small.
Look out for more information on the Staffordshire hoard in future posts.