22,000 small denomination Roman coins! Great photos at the link, and a really clear explanation of the Treasure Act and the Portable Antiquity Scheme (so clear I forwarded to both my Roman class and my First Year Seminar).
I’m teaching a First Year Seminar this fall on cultural property and just found another article for them to read. A regional museum in England sells an Egyptian statue to pay for building a new wing – and everyone is getting up in arms.
I’m especially amused by the Egyptian ambassador’s fulminations. I’ve BEEN to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – it’s a museological disaster. And, though there are plenty of packing crates just sitting around in the public areas, they have works in storage, too.
You have to read to the end of the article to find this out. The Royal Mint is replacing the current (1983-present) £1 coin with a new dodecagonal model. 3% of the current coins in circulation are forgeries? Really? That seems like a lot.
. . . but María del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva, 18th Duchess of Alba de Tormes, Grandee of Spain may be a reason to vote against Scottish independence.
I’m in the process of getting a First Year Seminar called “Stealing Art/Saving Art” approved for next fall. The main topic is understanding cultural property – who owns art? One of the units I’m planning is a compare and contrast between the practices and legal situation of metal detectorists in the UK and tombaroli in Italy. The British experiment beginning in the 1990s (I believe) with allowing detectorists to profit from their finds legally has been wonderful for archaeology. Meanwhile, in Italy, where the finds are much bigger, no one but the State (through its designates) can excavate anything legally.
. . . and he finds a coin hoard with 55 Roman golden solidi. That’s a hobby purchase that paid for itself. Great photos – including one of the shopkeeper who sold the metal detector. You know his shelves are bare, now!
A British effort to put pictures of all the oil paintings in the UK online pays off – an art historian spotted a previously unknown Van Dyck portrait.
The painting, which was not thought to be important and in a bad condition, was covered in layers of dirt and varnish and was not on display at the Bowes Museum.
But it was photographed as part of the Public Catalogue Foundation’s mission to document every oil painting in public ownership and added to the BBC’s Your Paintings website, where it was spotted by art historian and dealer Dr Bendor Grosvenor.
“Although as part of our national heritage values are irrelevant, for insurance purposes it should now be valued at anything up to £1m,” Dr Grosvenor said.
“Had it appeared at auction as a copy, and in its dirty state, it would probably only have been estimated at about £3,000-5,000.”
Grosvenor runs Art History News – here’s an example of what he’s doing with this picture.
The general initiative is called Your Paintings.
Look what a 4 year old can find with a metal detector – if he lives in Essex: Christmas-themed medieval stuff, now on display at the British Museum.
Ptolemy Dean, Surveyor of the Fabric of Westminster Abbey. It sounds like a young adult book title, almost, but he really is the 19th Surveyor of the Fabric of Westminster. Who names a child Ptolemy? Parents who are sure their little darling will grow up to be someone interesting!
He’s got plans for Westminster Abbey, too – we might be able to get up into the triforium (the gallery between the arches of the nave arcade and the visible stained glass windows above) soon!
Nice aerial photo of a big feasting hall excavated in Kent – and a tease that, like at Yeavering in Northumbria, there may be more buildings in a complex.
. . . six years past his own self-advertised sell-by date. Born, 1942. 64 in 2006. Now 70.
Not in Jersey, on Jersey. The Channel Island, not the State. The story.
Click and look at the picture in this version – the find is a block that weighs 3/4 of a ton!
There’s almost no way to have a find of that size without it eventually telling us things we didn’t know about, say, Celtic exchange and trade around the time of Julius Caesar.
. . . who is the Napoleon of Crime pulling the threads of the spider web and directing the theft of Chinese objects from two separate university museums in England? The AP story hints only:
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the thefts were related.
I remind you, faithful reader, it was to me! Immediately!
Somehow I didn’t realize the Jesuits still owned the St Cuthbert Gospels! I knew it had been at Stonyhurst in the 19th and early 20th Centuries, but I thought they had sold the book a long time ago. Turns out it had been on loan for a long time to the British Library.