Salisbury Museum is hoping to host a remarkable hoard of Bronze Age jewellery in a new gallery set to open this summer.
The find, from the Wylye valley near
Warminster, has now been officially declared treasure and the
museum has registered its intention to acquire the 41 objects
dating from the Middle Bronze Age (from 1400 to 1250BC) to display
in the Wessex Gallery of Archaeology.
It is technically termed an 'Ornament
Horizon Hoard', meaning it contains jewellery rather than tools.
Found in early November 2012 by metal-detectorists, the jewellery
includes bracelets, torcs (neck rings), ribbed bracelets and a
quoit headed pin measuring 15½in (39.5cm) long.
A very unusual torc, which was cast
rather than twisted, is another star piece and shows the high level
of craftsmanship and skill from the Bronze Age.
The Treasure Valuation Committee will
now set about determining the market value and Salisbury Museum
will begin raising funds to acquire it. The British Museum have
also declared an interest, should Salisbury fail to acquire
"It's appropriate for the Wylye Hoard
to be housed at Salisbury Museum, because it was found nearby,"
said Adrian Green, director of the museum. "The British Museum are
interested because it's a hoard of really rare and beautiful
If Salisbury Museum is successful, the
hoard will be put on temporary display in the Wessex Gallery of
Archaeology. The gallery launch date has not been finalised but the
museum told ATG it hopes that will be in June.
"The hoard is outstanding, and in
beautiful condition," said Richard Henry, finds liaison officer for
Wiltshire. "Not only is it a very significant addition to this type
of hoard, it's also one of the largest with a wide variety of
The metal-detectorists did not leave
the hoard in situ when it was discovered. Unfortunately, this meant
that archaeologists who subsequently excavated the site were denied
valuable clues as to the deposition and the structure of the
Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.