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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Tudor pendant linked to Henry VIII among new finds

Tudor gold pendantPA Media

A Tudor gold pendant linked with Henry VIII is one of thousands of treasures discovered by metal detectorists unveiled at the British Museum.

The heart-shaped pendant and chain, found in Warwickshire, features Tudor roses and a pomegranate bush.

The reverse shows ‘H’ and ‘K’ letters, thought to reference Henry VIII and his first wife, Katherine of Aragon.

The museum said over 45,000 archaeological finds and more than 1,000 treasures were recorded in 2021.

The ornate object, unearthed by Charlie Clarke whilst metal detecting in Warwickshire, is decorated with enamelled motifs and inscriptions and includes a gold chain made up of 75 links.

The double-headed white and red rose on the front of the pendant was a symbol used by the Tudors from 1486, whilst the pomegranate was the badge of Katherine of Aragon.

The pendant features H and K initials

PA Media

The 16th Century pendant was one of a number of objects outlined in the museum’s Treasure Annual Report and Portable Antiques Scheme (PAS) Annual Report which highlights archaeological contributions from members of the public.

The museum also highlighted a silver strap-end, designed to finish a flat strip of fabric or leather, found in Hampshire by a metal detectorist.

The medieval object, which dates back to the 14th Century, is decorated with animals and was thought to belong to a merchant.

The items unveiled at the museum

PA Media

The PAS database holds information on over one million items which have been unearthed across the country.

In 2021, the county that discovered the most historic finds was Gloucestershire, which reported 8,113 items, and Suffolk and Lincolnshire which both reported more than 4,000 discoveries.

The most amount of treasure had been reported in Norfolk and Kent.

Under the Treasure Act 1996, any finders have a legal obligation to report all finds of potential treasure to local authorities.

Charlie Clarke

PA Media

Hartwig Fischer, director of The British Museum, said it was “fantastic” that so many finds had been recorded and acquired by museums for public benefit.

“The British Museum is proud of its role running the Portable Antiquities Scheme and overseeing the administration of the Treasure Act 1996 in England.

“It is fantastic that in 2021 so many finds have been recorded,” he said.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “This beautiful pendant is a thrilling discovery giving us a tangible connection to Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon and enriches our understanding of the Royal Court at the time.”

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