Treasure discovery in Sherborne St John

Daily Echo: The gold band from the Bronze Age The gold band from the Bronze Age

A GOLD band from the Bronze Age and a medieval finger ring were found in fields near Sherborne St John, an inquest heard.

The band dates back some 3,500 years and contains 10 finely cut and straight grooves on one side.

Georgina Agnew, from London, found it in a field in Sherborne St John on March 9 this year.

The medieval gold ring, which dates back to the 15th century, is engraved with figures of St Christopher carrying an infant Christ across a river.

It was found by Keith Andreae, again using a metal detector, on January 16.

Andrew Bradley, coroner for North East Hampshire, declared both items as treasure at two separate hearings at Alton Magistrates’ Court.

Both items are currently at the British Museum and will be valued by experts on the Treasure Valuation Committee.

Any money received will be split between the Crown, the landowner and the finders.

The British Museum has expressed an interest in acquiring the Bronze Age band, while the ring could end up on display in Hampshire if acquired as expected by Hampshire Museum Service.

Neil Wilkin, curator of the Bronze Age Collection at the British Museum, said people in Britain and Ireland were particularly skilful at making decorative objects in gold.

He told The Gazette: “The strip from near Basingstoke demonstrates the ability of a goldsmith around 3,500 years ago, who skilfully cut very fine and straight decorative lines in the gold by eye, without the aid of modern machinery.

“The strip would have been part of a larger object, although we’re not sure what. Perhaps it was clothing, or another object or body.

“Nevertheless, it would have looked very fine with the decorative strip mounted on it.”

The medieval ring also contains engraved flowers and leaves on the shoulders of the loop, either side of an oval bezel.

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