Museum Musings – March 2021

Recently, West Berkshire has been able to acquire a very nice 17th – 18th century silver seal matrix for the collection. The item was found in the parish of Woolhampton in 2019 and declared treasure. This seal matrix has the image of a dove holding an olive branch, a recognised symbol of peace. BERK-FA5F35 Copyright: The …more

Sweet Child O’ Mine – Roman Putti Figurines

Late last year I tweeted a Roman putto (child) figurine that was brought in for recording. The statue is in the form of a chubby and naked winged boy, a putto, seated with his arm outstretched and bent at the elbows. His right hand is broken and his left arm is holding a ball. Copyright: The …more

Finds of the Month – February 2021

It was getting to the point recently that I didn’t think I would have much for Finds of the Month. However, very recently some rather interesting things landed in my inbox which I’ll be seeing once museums reopen. The first is, what would have been in its day, a very decorative Millefiori stud, dated to …more

Autocorrect Fail – Spelling Mistakes on Coins

With the 50th anniversary of decimalisation and hundreds of millions of coins made over the millennia, I thought I would look at one particular element; die errors. More specifically, spelling mistakes. There is no real rhyme or reason to them, they are not that uncommon, but they do catch the eye and can confuse when …more

Museum Musings – February 2021

This month for Museum Musings I’ll be looking at S-shaped fasteners, also known as ‘snake buckles.’  The one below was declared treasure in 2009 and subsequently acquired by West Berkshire museum. The buckle, or strap fitting as we record them, consists of the heads and necks of two snakes curved and joined together to form an …more

Keep it secret, keep it safe – Roman seal boxes

One of my favourite Roman objects is seal boxes. Colin Andrews (2012) research demonstrated that these boxes were more likely to seal up bags rather than writing tablets, as was previously thought. There are a couple of examples from Berkshire. The first is the top of a lozenge shaped box. The top is decorated with …more

Finds of the Month – January 2021

With the current lockdown restrictions metal detecting hasn’t been allowed this month. However, I have still been receiving finds from pre-lockdown and here are a few I have recorded this month. First up is the featured find from last week. A Silver-plated contemporary copy of a denarius of Septimius Severus (AD193 – 211). There was …more

Finds of the Month – December 2020

This new series will detail my Top 10 finds recorded each month. Here are those from December. First up is this Republican Denarius of L Cassius Longinus minted in 78BC (BERK-1037DC). On one side is the head of a young Bacchus or Liber while on the other is the head of Libera (Proserpina) left. It …more

5000 Up For West Berkshire!

Very recently I verified West Berkshire’s 5000 PAS find on the database. Recently I held a poll on Twitter for what should be the 5000th find. As expected, you ask the people who voted for Boaty McBoatface, you get a silly result. The winner was this unidentifiable lead seal/token. However, this makes a wider point …more

Berkshire 2020

With the release of the 2019 PAS Annual Report,  here is a couple of special Berkshire ones from the report and a  roundup of finds from Berkshire recorded in the past year. PAS 2019 Annual Report First from 2019 is a remarkable find from Bisham, Berkshire, this year was a silver Greek drachm of Alexander …more