Museum Musings – April 2021

Somehow I can’t believe it is already April! This month looking in the West Berkshire Museum archive I came across the Yattendon Hoard. It is made up of a total of 57 bronze objects, tools and weapons discovered in 1876 during excavations instigated by Alfred Waterhouse for the foundations of the mansion Yattendon Court on …more

A Token Gesture – Berkshire Trade Tokens

To deal with a lack of small denominations in the regal coinage during and after the civil war, civic institutions and individual business people issued copper-alloy tokens between 1648 and 1672 (1679 in Ireland); the end date resulting from the reintroduction of farthings in copper alloy by Charles II (PAS Tokens Guide). On the PAS database …more

Finds of the Month – March 2021

Still working through lockdown and receiving objects through email, but that hasn’t stopped some rather interesting finds coming in. Most recently is this copper-alloy Roman object. I say object because at around 40mm it is too big to be a sestersius. The portrait appears to be Antonine in date and could be of Faustina, the …more

You Wear It Well – Roman Crossbow Brooches

Recently I posted a picture of the sole Roman crossbow brooch from Berkshire, found in the parish of Welford, on Instagram and asked people “Which way up is correct?” The results of this were about 50/50. The traditional way to show a crossbow brooch on images is with the axis bar, what we call the …more

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

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