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Roxwell ring doubles estimate

Roxwell ring doubles estimate

On 23-27 May 2023, Timeline held an auction of Ancient Art, Antiquities & Coins. This included several recent detecting gold finds, the best of which are have selected below. Mixed results, with the gold ring of William Skrene doubling its estimate but the “Hursley” gold ring failing to sell.

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 30% (inclusive of VAT) on the hammer price.

Detecting finds

Photo: © Timeline

Bronze age gold bar ingot

Estimate: £2,000 – £3,000
Hammer: £4200

Found on 1 September 2019 near Eastchurch, Kent and recorded at the PAS as KENT-B43CF3. The simplicity of the form of these gold finger ingots makes them very difficult to date, when they are found as single finds. The PAS report gives a broad range of dates from 2200 BC to AD 1100. Similar examples have been found in late Bronze Age hoards.

Photo: © Timeline

Anglo-Saxon bracteate

Estimate: £3,000 – £4,000
Hammer: £2600

Found near Orsett, Thurrock in 2015 and recorded at the PAS as ESS-4FF212.

PAS record ESS-4FF212.
Photo: Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service CC By SA2.0

When found, the bracteate was heavily bent in two places. It has since been straightened to show a design of an animal facing left.

Photo: © Timeline

“The Roxwell” gold ring of William Skrene

Estimate: £8,000 – £10,000
Hammer: £18000

Found on 4 September 2021 at Roxwell, Essex and recorded at the PAS as ESS-CD68AE.

The design shows a bird of prey perching with wings spread and head turned. The lettering reads ‘·al : for : ye : best ·’ (all for the best). It has not been possible to definitively attribute this motif or legend. However, the ring was found in the vicinity of the Skreens Estate, property of the Skrene family in the 1400s and it is possible the ring was once owned by one of them. Given the quantity of gold used in its manufacture and the quality of the workmanship, it evidently belonged to a person of some wealth and status.

Given the dating of the ring to the 15th Century, a likely candidate is William Skrene, who was an Irish-born barrister and judge. Wiiliam spent his professional life in England, being appointed King’s Serjeant and a judge of assize, as well as Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer in 1395-7. He died in 1419-20.

Photo: © Timeline

“The Hursley” gold ring

Estimate: £10,000 – £14,000

This 15th century ring was found near Hursley, Hampshire, on Sunday 26th August 2012 and recorded at the PAS as HAMP-62C152. The ring is in the form of a belt with double-bowed and pinned buckle. It is inscribed + HOPE * IS * MI HOLDE around the outside of the hoop and TILL * HAP * SHALL * HELPE around the inside.

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