Archive: June, 2015

The Cheapside Hoard: London’s Lost and Found Jewels

Since 2013, a wondrous collection of Elizabethan and Jacobean jewellery is on display in its entirety for the first time in more than a century.
The treasure trove was discovered in a Cheapside cellar by a group of workmen in 1912, although the hoard was buried there in the 17th century.

For almost 3  a buried treasure lay undisturbed below in Cheapside. No one knew it was there until workmen started to demolish a timber-framed building in Cheapside near St Paul’s Cathedral, in June 1912. The property had stood on the site since the 17th century, but the cellars were older and lined with brick. They found a buried wooden box containing more than 400 pieces of Elizabethan and Jacobean jewellery, including rings, brooches and chains, with bright coloured gemstones and enamelled gold settings, together with toadstones, cameos, scent bottles, fan holders, crystal tankards and a salt cellar. Most of the hoard is now in the Museum of London, with some items held by the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The Hoard represents the stock-in-trade of a working goldsmith jeweller and its presence in Cheapside is highly significant, because this street was not only the principal artery of the City, its ceremonial route and main shopping street, but was also the hub of the goldsmiths’ trade. The Hoard reflects London’s role in the international gem and jewellery trade and it contains an astonishing array of more than 400 dazzling jewels and gemstones from many parts of the world.

Big thanks to the Museum of London on youtube for the vid.

The Cheapside Hoard: London’s Lost and Found Jewels