This Noonan's press release discusses the Vale of Pewsey hoard of Roman silver coins.
It was over two days in September 2020, after the first Covid lockdown had finished, that three metal-detectorists with over 90 years detecting experience between them, came across a wonderful hoard of Roman silver coins in an extremely unusual way! The hoard of 142 coins which is expected to sell in the region of £30,000–40,000 will be offered for sale by specialist Coin, Medal, Banknote and Jewellery auctioneers Noonans (previously Dix Noonan Webb) in their frst sale under their shortened name on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at their Mayfair saleroom (16 Bolton Street, London W1J 8BQ).
Mick Rae, a 63-year-old herds manager; Robert Abbott (53) who owns a computer shop and Dave Allen (59) a carpenter were spending the weekend camping on a field in Wiltshire. Dave and Rob both live in Essex, and Mick, at the time, lived in Wiltshire.
As Rob explained:
Having fnished breakfast first, I turned on my machine, a Minelab Equinox 800, and having walked around six paces from the tent, I found several tent pegs and just under the surface a late Roman silver siliqua in pristine condition. A few moments later beside it, I found another one!
This prompted both Mick and Dave to grab their detectors and help in the search. Over the course of the weekend they found 161 coins in total, comprising silver siliqua and miliarense dating from AD 340–402. They had to keep them in their camping washing-up bowl as they didn't have anything else to store them in.
Ironically, we had been camping there 2 weeks previous for a week-long detecting outing. What we hadn't realised is we'd actually camped right on top of the area where the coins were found!
Unbelievably I don't actually have any photographs of myself finding any coins. I think everyone else was too excited to be taking pictures! We are looking forward to the forthcoming auction but at the moment, we have no idea how we will spend the money.
As Nigel Mills, Consultant (Artefacts and Antiquities) at Noonans explains:
Virtually all of the coins are in mint condition and have not
even needed to be cleaned since their discovery. The hoard was
buried at a time when Roman rule in Britain under the Emperor
Honorius was no longer viable with the army being recalled to
protect other provinces. In AD 410 Britain was told to protect
itself by Honorius.
He went on to say:
As a result Britain has become a treasure island of late 4th century and early 5th century gold and silver Roman coin and jewellery hoards as the local population buried their valuables and then fell victim to Saxon raids. Detector fnds in recent years include the Thetford and Hoxne hoards.
The British Museum has studied the coins and is retaining just two coins for their collection from the hoard.
For more information, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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