Sunday 25 August 2019

Suffolk auction house to sell 'Lakenheath Shield' in specialist auction

"It’s a remarkable discovery and is one
of only 27 shields ever found in the world.
We are expecting keen interest from museums and
serious collectors for this amazing artefact.”

The Stowmarket salesrooms of Bishop and Miller is launching its "Gentleman’s Library Auction", on Thursday, September 5 (Kevin Hurst, 'Suffolk auction house to sell 'Lakenheath Shield' in specialist auction', Bury Free Press 21 August 2019)
One of the highlights is the 'The Lakenheath Shield', a very rare example of a Bronze Age Yetholm type copper alloy shield from around 1300B.C. to 975 B.C. [...] valued between £10,000 and £15,000.
 The shield was allegedly discovered by a metal detectorist on a farm in Lakenheath, Suffolk in 2015 - but it has apparently not been recorded by the PAS.
Oliver Miller, managing director at Bishop and Miller, said[...] "We’re really excited to introduce this new ["Gentleman’s Library Auction"] specialist Auction to everyone. I have likened the selection of items available in this auction akin to walking into Sherlock Holmes’ dusty Victorian study [...] 
Or a metal detectorist's shed. No gentlemen there.

If this is a genuine find, I'd like to see the back, where in "Lakenheath" is it from? The underlying drift geology of the area is a bit complex, but there is a lot of brickearth about, and from what we can see in the photos its state would not be in conflict with that. But 95% of the known finds of these shields are usually found in wetland contexts, so was this found in boggy land (the extreme edges of the Fens) to the north and  west of the village. Like for example in Lakenheath Fen, perhaps? That just happens of course to be a nature reserve, so no gentleman would be digging there, would they? But a landowner somewhere in the Lakenheath area is about to get their 50% of the loot from flogging off this haul.

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