Saturday 12 April 2014

Greed: "Not in it Fer the Munny, Saving 'Istry at the Right Price. Gimme my Cash!"

Janner, from his blog banner
"There has been a lot of talk lately around some detecting blogs about why some detectorists do not report finds. This could be and I'm sure it is one of the reasons why" writes "Janner" on his metal detecting blog ("Bronze Age Hoard, Undervalued or what"):
Its about a man who dug a bronze age axe head and four gold rings and after doing the right thing and reporting it, the governments Treasure Valuation Committee offered him a valuation of £550 and said it was a fair price. Yet the man who found these bronze age items estimates that the hoard is worth £6,200, which was backed up by the Suffolk Archaeological Service. Now that is one hell of a difference.
The 'Near North Cove Hoard' a socketed axe head containing three whole 'lock rings' and two fragments of what was believed to be a broken fourth ring was found by metal detectorist Steven Walker in a field near Lowestoft in 2011. The finder estimated they were worth about £6,200, and was disappointed when the Treasure Valuation Committee (TVC) said £550 was a fair price based on independent advice.
Mr Walker said:
"I've been metal-detecting for 15 years and this was my best ever find and my experience does not inspire confidence in the official valuation process. "Unless changes are made, people aren't going to donate their treasure finds to the nation."
Would you pay six thousand quid for this crap and why? Socketed
axe and scrappy bronze rings in all their 'glory' (BBC)
The demand for five thousand quid more than the assessed value of a pretty common type of LBA axehead and three and a half scrappy rings is hardly what most normal people would consider a "donation". I wonder what painter and decorator Walker really imagines he would get for the items if they had been offered on eBay individually (or as a group) and his mates were prevented from shill-bidding? There is already so much of this sort of material around from four to five decades of metal detecting and hoiking that the market price will not hold the values of a decade or so ago.

As for this unhappy metal detectorist suggesting that if they do not get offered more antiquities-ransom-dosh, folks are not going to hand them over to the authorities, Mr Walker is admitting that detectorists are willing to break the law. Mr Walker seems to forget that under the UK Treasure Act, he and his fellow artefact hunters are in a certain relatively restricted range of cases (ie cases like this) under obligation by law to declare such items, and would risk going to jail for concealing it, just like any other country. By the same law, the state is under NO obligation to pay him or anyone else a penny for it. Treasure rewards are entirely discretionary, metal detectorists feelings of entitlement and greed seem to have distorted their perceptions. £550 is still £550 more than nothing. Meanwhile anything and anything else that Mr walker and thousands of his mates find in the course of their detecting career can be legally appropriated and legally flogged off for as many thousand quid as he can get for them (thus bringing prices and values of so-called "minor antiquities" down even further).

BBC, 'Suffolk Bronze Age axe and ring hoard 'undervalued'...', 12th April 2014.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.