How exciting to have a magical Elizabethan discovery compiled and showcased this year by the Museum of London?! The collection is called the Cheapside Hoard and it was discovered a century ago in a cellar in London. The astonishing part of the story is the amount of jewels were in this stash–about 500 pieces! Historians are still uncovering the mysteries of the find, most importantly, who hid them and why? Narrowing down a circa date has been a big accomplishment–1640-1666. Some speculation about the owner being a goldsmith turned civil war soldier may be the answer to why the jewelry was hidden in the first place. Hazel Forsyth, curator of the collection says, “It is regarded as the single most important find of its type in the world.” The find, which includes necklaces, rings, Byzantine cameos and a one-of-a-kind emerald watch from Columbia, has since led to documentary research uncovering much more about the people who lived in the properties where the hoard was found.”
The hoard was found in 1912 after workmen demolished a series of buildings in Cheapside, London. The area in the 17th century was known for its jewelry shops. While many buildings burned in the Great Fire of London, cellars remained in tact.
The dates of the exhibit are: 11 October 2013 – 27 April 2014, so there is significant planning time for everyone to plan a trip across the pond! I would love to see these jewels in person!