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Hansons Historica Auction 25 February

Hansons 2 day historica

Hansons held a 2 day historica auction beginning on 25 February. These lots from day 1 included Roman, Celtic, Medieval and Post Medieval coins and artefacts. The auction catalogue is available here.

A couple of the more prominent lots were unsold, notably Lot 103, Lowe Family signet ring. However, this was more than made up by the spectacular price achieved by the star of the auction; Lot 1, Celtic Harness Brooch. This achieved a hammer price of £55,000 against a pre sale estimate of £6,000 – £8,000.

Star of the auction

Lot 1, Celtic Harness Brooch

Harness Fitting

This is a late Iron Age enamelled harness brooch. The decoration is in the “South Western Style” with similarities to objects found in the Polden Hill hoard. The auctioneer gave a detailed description of the lot, which is available here.

Detecting Find

The find was made by a detectorist on 17 October 2020 in Buckinghamshire.

It was reported to PAS at DENO-2BAD49, where it was designated as being of National Importance.


Estimate: £6,000 – £8,000

Hammer: £55,000

Paid: £71,500 (with buyer’s premium and VAT)

Highlighted Lot

lot 103, Lowe Family 17th Century Gold Signet Ring

lot 103, Lowe Family 17th Century Gold Signet Ring

Detecting Find

The ring was found by a detectorist on 24th February 2018 some 150 metres from Casterne Hall in Derbyshire. After getting a strong signal, the detectorist dug down to find a large flat stone. The ring appears to have been deliberately placed underneath. A theory is that the ring was hidden in the late 17th century during a dispute over a will.

The find was reported to PAS at DENO-B87439, declared treasure and disclaimed. 

Ring Design

The setting of the seal ring is inscribed with the letters G and L set between three candlesticks. The L is most likely for Lowe as Casterne Hall had been the seat of the Lowe family since being given to them by the king in the 13th century. The G could be for a Geoffrey Lowe who died in 1637.

Ring shape

The ring has two bends in it. Given the ring was deliberately placed in a “safe” place and is in good condition, it is unlikely that this is due to damage.

More likely is that it was not intended to be worn for everyday use. Instead its design allows it to be pressed into the wax seal with two fingers.


Estimate: £25,000 – £30,000


Selected lots

Below are my picks from the other lots. In addition to the hammer price, there is a Buyer’s Premium of 25% (plus VAT).

All images are © Hansons. Click an image to enlarge

Lot 12, Roman silver brooch

Inscribed with FIDEM,  “Faith

Estimate: £50 – £60

Hammer: £90

Lot 16, Roman Gold Ring

 A small Roman gold ring, possibly for a child.




Estimate: £200 – £300

Hammer: £320

Lot 18, Roman Boar Brooch




Estimate: £80 – £120

Hammer: £160

Lot 38, Anglo-Saxon Gold Aestal Terminal

This artefact was found in 1992 and therefore falls under the Treasure Trove rules rather than the 1996 Treasure Act. As it was considered to be an accidental loss, it did not qualify as treasure.

It is recorded at PAS as SWYOR-E37B83

The exact function of this terminal is unknown.

Estimate: £2,000 – £2,500


Lot 58, Anglo-Saxon Strap-End

 Strap ends are quite common as detecting finds



Estimate: £40 – £60

Hammer: £80

Lot 63, Medieval Gold Posy Ring

A detecting find from 2017 in Winterborne St Martin, West Dorset. It is recorded at PAS as DOR-E2EFC9. It was disclaimed as treasure.

The inscription reads: ioer corps et vye, “enjoy body and life 


Estimate: £3,000 – £4,000

Hammer: £3,500

Lot 82, Medieval Bronze Leash Swivel

A swivel that may have been used on a dog leach or a hawking tether.


Estimate: £30 – £40

Hammer: £35

Lot 89, Medieval Inscribed Silver Ring

The inscription reads IESVS NAZARENVS REX IVDEORVM, “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews



Estimate: £200 – £300

Hammer: £340

Lot 96, Medieval Personal Seal

The face of the seal has a lamb and flag and the legend S’ IVLIANE ATTELOFTE, “the seal of Julian Atteloft



Estimate: £80 – £120

Hammer: £180

Lot 106, Silver Hawking Vervel

A vervel was tied to the legs of a hawk and used to connect the bird to a leash. A hawk was a highly expensive badge of status and the vervel served to both secure the valuable bird and identifying the owner. This vervel is inscribed “of Dauntesey” 

Estimate: £600 – £800

Hammer: £680

Lot 116, Post Medieval Gold Posey Ring

 Inscribed on the inner surface with “God alone made us one




Estimate: £600 – £700

Hammer: £680 

Lot 133, Catuvellauni Quarter Stater

“Rose Wings” type, with flowers on both sides and a double wing motif above the horse on the reverse, which is partially missing on this example.

Estimate: £500 – £700

Hammer: £640

lot 138, Gallo-Belgic Gold Stater

Bellovaci, c.175 – 80 BC

Obverse: draped bust of Apollo left with elaborate hairstyle. Reverse: Left facing stylised horse with  flower below

The Bellovaci  were a Belgic tribe based in the North West of France and at times would recruit mercenaries from Britain. These come as detecting finds in the southern counties of England. 

Estimate: £2,500 – £3,000

Hammer: £2,300

Lot 155, Carausius Denarius

Found by a detectorist at Risley, Derbyshire on 30 July 2020 and recorded at PAS as DENO-7EB4B2. It is the only known specimen with the obverse legend IMP CARAVSIVS P F A and only the third with the reverse legend RENOVATIO AVG.

This is the second Carausius Denarius of note, both recent detecting finds, that is being auctioned this week. See my review of the Spink Numismatic e-Circular 7 Part I

Estimate: £2,500 – £3,000

Hammer: £5,000

Lot 168, Nero Denarius


Estimate: £150 – £200

Hammer: £200

Lot 183, Faustina Junior Denarius



Estimate: £50 – £70

Hammer: £90

Lot 212, Edward the Elder Penny

A “Flower with Leaves” type penny of Edward the Elder, King of the Anglo-Saxons from 894 – 924

Estimate: £4,000 – £5,000

Hammer: £4,800


Lot 213, Anlaf Sihtricsson "Raven Banner" Penny

The “Raven Banner” Penny is a coin of the Norse-Gael Olaf Sihtricson (Anlaf Sihtricsson)

The obverse has a Triquetra surrounded by the  legend: ANLAF CVNVNC II

CVNVNC is the Old Norse word Konungr, meaning King, written in the Latin alphabet. As such, it is one of the earliest surviving texts of Old Norse in the Latin alphabet

The reverse has a raven banner surrounded by: FARMAN MONET meaning moneyer Farman

Extremely rare

Estimate: £3,000 – £4,000

Hammer: £4,500

Lot 225, Edward IV Gold Angel

Second Reign, London mint

Reverse legend: PER CRVCE TVA SALVA NOS XPC REDE, “By thy cross, save us, O Christ, our Redeemer

Estimate: £1,500 – £2,000

Hammer: £2,300

Lot 242, Richard III Penny

York mint under Archbishop Rotherham


Estimate: £400 – £600

Hammer: £680

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