Thursday, 4 March 2021

The Hanson's "Known as All-Buckinghamshire Too Bad Harness-Brooch" (III): In the Saleroom

Follows on from: The Hanson's "Known as All-Buckinghamshire Too Bad Harness Brooch" (II): Context of Deposition

Ray Pusey and the landowner decided to sell the artefact that Ray had found in a field somewhere near Haddenham. They decided that to get a good price they should go to Charlie Hanson's setup in Derby. As we have seen before on this blog, Mr Hanson apparently has no problem with accepting artefacts with no real provenance documentation, and British metal detected finds in particular with no PAS records even. I've discussed this on my blog before and in 2016 Mr Hanson wrote to HA and myself assuring us he'd never do it again, that he'd insist on having only items that had been responsibly recorded. Huh. Hanson has sympathies with tekkies though, he is quoted as saying:

"I was inspired to work in this industry after discovering the joy of metal detecting and the ancient treasures beneath our feet as a boy.
A story of  'from artefact hunter to artefact profiteer'. 

Somewhere along the line, Mr Pusey and the landowner had to make contact with someone to clean the fragile object (it looks professionally cleaned, I suggest consolidation of what remains of the enamel at least was involved), photograph it, get it (during lockdown?) from Buckinghamshire to the auctioneer, who then researched it, wrote the catalogue entry and a Searcher article, made a promotional video. All before the appearance of the auction online by the beginning of February. That's just 14 weeks after the reported date of discovery of the harness-brooch (Ms Ray puts that as "Saturday 17th October 2020", and you can work out for yourselves what lockdown regulations were in force there and then). Or rather one of the dates of discovery. Because in that promotional video, Charlie Hanson says that the object had been found "three years ago" (promotional video of 21st Feb 2021, at 58 seconds - the date of finding does not figure in the auction catalogue or the Searcher article). So, when was it found? And why should we believe Ms Ray (who it is possible never actually met the finder during lockdown) and not Mr Hanson (who perhaps had just the same amount of contact)?

To be continued...

"It's quite a large object this, it was found three years ago, it's going to cause a real stir when it's sold on Thursday, we guide it between four and six thousand pounds, but actually I think it will make a lot more money, so watch this object, and of course when you are walking today and you are walking maybe in undergrowth or grass, or maybe a ploughed field, you never know what is lurking under your feet"

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