Charles Hanson is posing in a puce silk waistcoat with a metal detector at the head of his latest press release: '97% Sale Rate for Hansons Historica Auction' - 02/12/2016, in which he says he is:
delighted to report the success of the inaugural Historica Coins and Antiquities auction. Bidding was fierce, with a busy saleroom facing strong, worldwide competition from both internet and telephone bidders. This resulted in an impressive 97% sale rate for the lots on offer, with over 40% achieving a hammer price above their top estimate. A selection of items with Derbyshire provenances created great interest. Three lots of locally found Prehistoric flint arrowheads brought exceptional prices and auctioneer Charles Hanson brought down the hammer on the largest group at £1000. A very rare Roman silver denarius from 69AD sold for £850, a great result for the lucky metal detectorist who discovered it just a few miles from Hansons Etwall saleroom.Hanson's also flogged off a Neolithic jadeite axe for £2900 and 'a splendid 13th century gold ring' for £3600. Another 'lucky metal detectorist' no doubt, only in it for the history, you know.
Coin highlights included a Civil War halfcrown from the siege of Newark (£1900), a 7th century gold thrymsa from the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Kent (£2500) and an Iron age gold stater of Verica, King of the Atrebates tribe, showing a warrior on horseback (£960).Half of which sums we hope Mr Hanson immediately paid directly to the landowner whose property they were and who signed search and take agreements with the findersd (each of which Mr H. no doubt personally checked to ensure the seller indeed had title).
Obviously, there is a lot of money to be made from flogging off artefacts, whether or not they are recorded by the PAS (they now have 1,234,785 'objects' in the database. Even if the average flogging-off-istry price is 20 quid each (see the finds valuation pages of metal detecting magazines to see that's the minimum many of the types in metal detectorists' collections are worth), that's 24.7 million quid's worth of our heritage (and landowners' property) already in private hands, and that is just the tip of the iceberg, that's just the ones recorded.
[updated in the light of the comments below about the identity of the coin, which the PAS database incorrectly calls since 2008 a "Roman Republic coin". We now learn that the coin was found nearly a decade ago. Was the seller able to show a search-and-take permit from the landowner dated for that period to establish title -especially as such items are rarely found as far north as the UK? Mr Hanson assured HA [archives] that he would be collecting such documentation from sellers].