Stoke & Staffordshire

Staffordshire Hoard: Royal jewellers' donation keeps collection together

Staffordshire Hoard
Image caption Only 81 of the 91 objects found in the ploughed field in November were declared treasure

The jewellers who made the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding ring have donated more than £50,000 to keep newly-found Staffordshire Hoard items together.

Wartski donated £57,395 to purchase the 81 additional pieces of Anglo-Saxon treasure found last November in the same field as the initial 3,500-piece collection in 2009.

Stoke-on-Trent and Birmingham city councils wanted the money to keep the artefacts in the West Midlands.

They said it was "fantastic news".

The councils jointly own the 3,500 artefacts and have permanent displays at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

'Staffordshire's Tutankhamun'

The most recent haul, which includes a helmet piece, a cross-shaped mount and an eagle-shaped mount, was discovered by a team from Archaeology Warwickshire.

A campaign was started earlier this month to keep pieces the treasure alongside the original collection.

The 2009 hoard, dated as from the 7th and 8th Centuries, was found by metal detectorist Terry Herbert on the land owned by farmer Fred Johnson. It was subsequently valued at about £3.3m.

They will benefit again this time because they were behind the original discovery.

Jewellers Wartski is a family jewellery business in London with a tradition of research, scholarship and specialist exhibitions.

Geoffrey Munn, managing director of Wartski and a specialist on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow, said: "Both the chairman of Wartski, Nicholas Snowman, and I are thrilled to have a chance of securing the future of what can only be described as Staffordshire's Tutankhamun.

"The hoard is a uniquely important part of England's heritage, striking at the heart of our national DNA, and consequently its preservation was imperative."

Simon Cane, from Birmingham Museums Trust said: "This is fantastic news; we are delighted that a prestigious British company such as Wartski has made it possible for us to acquire these unique historic objects for the nation.

"We, along with partners in Stoke-on-Trent and elsewhere in the Midlands, look forward to welcoming visitors from around the world to marvel at this significant treasure."

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