Tuesday, 12 May 2009

UK detectorist: "pleased he has been jailed — we don’t need people like him damaging the reputation of detectoring”

The Times has a story about the metal detecting fake coin seller I mentioned the other day (David Brown, 'Metal detector user David Hutchings jailed for selling fake coins ', The Times May 11, 2009). It mostly repeats the story as told in the Metropolitan police source I gave a link to last week, but there's a nicer photo. "Hutchings, 43, was the organiser of the Coventry Moles metal detecting club, which held archaeological searches across the Midlands. He used legitimate digs to “discover” fake items before passing them off as genuine antiquities. Some buyers were told that the items had been verified at the British Museum. Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiques Unit raided his home in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, after an Essex-based dealer raised concerns about a set of coins Hutchings was trying to sell".
Here's an odd statement: "Experts from the British Museum and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, assessed the coins and concluded that all had either been manufactured by casting in a mould or struck using forged dies". Hmmm, what kind of "coin experts" cannot tell the difference? I suspect (hope) this is a misquote. Somehow Rod (not "Roy") Blunt of the UK Detector Finds Database is quoted, Hutchings "recorded" many of his finds with this privately owned detecting showcase.
Another metal detector user is quoted as having said: “Coldfeet was known as a bit of a rogue. We are pleased he has been jailed — we don’t need people like him damaging the reputation of detectoring.” Well, the "reputation" of artefact hunting with metal detectors really suffers just as much from other issues that are rarely addressed by its many supporters.
Photo: Hutchings in happier days and fake Dark Age coin (Times)

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