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Noonans sell Charles I vervel and other finds

On 12 March 2024 Noonans held an auction of “JEWELLERY, WATCHES, SILVER & OBJECTS OF VERTU”. The best selling detecting find was a vervel of Charles I. There were a number of other finds in the auction that failed to sell. This included the “Ashfield Ring” which we featured in our article Noonans to sell The Ashfield Ring. Perhaps expectations had been set a bit too high.

To view any of my selected lots in the auction catalogue click on the lot number. The full catalogue can be found here.

There is a buyer’s premium of 24% (plus VAT) on the hammer price.

Featured lot

Photo: © Noonans

Vervel of Charles I

Estimate: £2,000 – £3,000
Hammer: £7000

A silver vervel or hawking ring with the Royal coat of arms on the bezel and engraved to the exterior in italics “King Charles”.

It was found by detectorist Roy Davis on a Saturday morning in the late 1980s. He located it with his Compass 77B on a spoil heap from the river Thames near Billingsgate. The find site is not far from the Tower of London and the auctioneer suggests that it is likely that Charles I kept a number of birds of prey there.

As Roy explained before the sale: “The tiny ring was heavily encrusted when found and I thought nothing of it, so I put it aside. Going through some old finds recently I decided to clean the ring and saw it was inscribed with a royal coat of arms and the legend Charles King.”

He plans to share the proceeds of the sale between his children. “I am very pleased; it was an excellent result, and I was amazed how much international interest it attracted. Before the sale, I had calls about it from all over the world!

Nigel Mills, Artefact and Coin expert at Noonans added “This was a very exciting find with only one other known example in the British Museum, as well as other vervels that belonged to Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and James I. Even though it was so small the Royal connection gave it historical significance and justified it selling for more than double the estimate.”

Other detecting finds

Photo: © Noonans

Vervel of Sir Richard Anderson

Found in Buckinghamshire circa 1992. Sir Richard Anderson married Mary Spencer (ancestor of Lady Diana Spencer) and they had 13 children.
Estimate: £600 – £800
Hammer: £1700
Photo: © Noonans

Seal matrix of a Friend of Brotherton

Found on 24 April 2022 near Brentwood, Essex and recorded at the PAS as ESS-B09FF6. The legend read “*S’OOV HIC AMI BROVTHERTOV” – This seal is a friend of Brotherton
Estimate: £1,000 – £1,200
Hammer: £1000
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