Wondrous pieces of Anglo Saxon treasure found in a Staffordshire field in July has now been valued at over £3 million, according to Maev Kennedy in the Guardian last week. The amount is to be shared between the metal detectorist who found the hoard and the farmer under whose field near Lichfield it had laid for over 1300 years. The only reason it came to light was that the farmer had ploughed deeper that particular year and because of that many pieces were found strewn across the field near the surface.
The find is now on temporary display at the British Museum whilst being valued and has generated similar excitement to the of opening and exhibiting of the contents of Tutankhamen’s tomb. The Staffordshire Hoard is also judged to have belonged to royalty (Saxon princes) and the find is set to rewrite the history of Staffordshire, which was once the kingdom of Mercia where it is thought the treasure was stolen by the Mercians from their Anglo Saxon neighbours.
An initial indication of the level of interest was 40,000 people queuing to see some of the items when they were put on display in Birmingham; it is thought that eventually the Hoard will return to the county of Staffordshire where it was originally found.
It is finds like this to a greater or lesser extent that fire the antiques enthusiast. Not everyone wants to invest in a metal detector to go trudging across a farmer’s field but many will discover rare pieces of antique furniture in Lancashire or elsewhere in antique dealer’s stores.
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