John Wood wrote:
>And feast your eyes on what they are flogging too!
John Hooker responded:
>I did. What's your point?
Well, JW can no doubt make his own points - mine would be:
1 despair that almost NONE of these objects are given findspots, and have
presumably lost any provenance information
2 fear that FEW if any of them have been reported to a local finds liaison
officer or museum for recording (the Henry VI badge for example 'found in
the river Thames' - if it was found in the last 20 years it should have been
reported to the Museum of London under a Port of London Authority by-law -
I've just checked, and we have no record of it). Not that one scruffy Henry
VI badge will add much to the total of human knowledge - it's the principle
of recording everything that will ensure more important objects are spotted
in time for their significance to be recognised and (for example) reveal
3 concern that (unlike the eBay site we discussed earlier) there seems to be
nothing to remind foreign buyers that if any of these objects have been dug
out of the ground in the UK (and by their appearance most of them have
been!), then taking them or having them posted out of the country without an
export licence is illegal. (It may seem a heavy-handed law to apply to such
generally mundane objects, but it's the only one we've got!)
4 concern whether the gold and silver objects were all reported either under
the 1996 Treasure Act or (if they are old finds) under the preceding
Treasure Trove system (I noticed one of the eBay sellers offering full
Treasure Act documentation proving objects had been disclaimed - nothing
like that is offered by <historyforsale>)
5 and a general worry, given the lack of documentation, whether everything
else about these objects and their origins is totally legitimate.
I have no objection to individuals collecting Roman brooches or medieval
pilgrim badges - it's just not a pursuit that attracts me.