Skip to comments.Does ring found in field date back to Norman conquest?[UK]
Posted on 10/31/2008 10:32:14 AM PDT by BGHater
A metal detector enthusiast believes he has found a royal crown jewel buried in a field. Peter Beasley, 67, was stunned when he pulled a heavy gold ring from the ground while out with his metal detector near Petersfield.
He claims the ring is 900 years old and belonged to Robert, the eldest son of William the Conquerer, whose name is engraved on the ring.
Robert, known as 'Short-legs', unsuccessfully attempted to take the English throne when he landed in Portsmouth in 1101.
But Mr Beasley is now involved in a dispute over the authenticity of the ring.
The British Museum has disclaimed the ring and said it doesn't believe the ring is Norman, even though it has not carried out a test to see how old it is.
But other museum experts, in Oxford and Gloucester, have claimed the ring is genuine.
Buriton, where the ring was found, is a well-known Norman site, and boasts the Norman church of St Mary's.
Mr Beasley believes the ring is of national importance and should be part of the national collection.
The former bricklayer, of Gordon Road, Waterlooville, said: 'It's solid gold and a beautiful ring.
'Everything is pointing towards the fact it was Norman and belonged to Robert Duke.
'It's got his name on it and DVX, which means Duke. The cross on it is in the Norman style.'
Timothy Wilson, keeper of decorative arts at The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology in Oxford, said: 'The engraving is Lombardic and is linked to Normandic history, similar to that found on the Bayeux Tapestry.
'It is high-quality gold and 23 to 24 carats.'
But a statement from the British Museum, sent to the coroner, said: 'It is a puzzling ring as it seems to have borrowed features from earlier periods but the general shape and design has no pre-1706 parallels, and the general consensus of opinion is that it is likely to be of relatively recent manufacture. The ring has not been tested by the British Museum. As the find likely dates to later than 1706 it falls outside the provisions of the Treasure Act 1996.'
Mr Beasley is now planning to resubmit the ring to the British Museum with a full record of the Norman history of the Buriton area, and hopes it will reconsider.
Peter Beasley tries on the ring
I don’t think gold can be dated. Maybe the mix of other metals might indicate its origin, however.
This guy should shut up and get the ring out of the country while the British Museum is saying it isnt real. Once they change their mind, they own it.
They could have tested any element that had adhered to the gold from the ground it was taken from, he better hope he didnt clean it too good.
“And one ring to control them all.”
The British Treasure Act says that a price has to be determined by an independent board of antiquities experts. Then the item is offered at that price to any museum. The money goes to the landowner where it was found. If no museum is willing to pay the price, the landowner gets to keep it. The serious and legitimate detectorists cut a deal with the landowner before they start looking, agreeing to a split.
It totally mistifies people like you that he is motivated by something like preserving national heritage rather than personal profit doesnt it?
People like me aren't condescending twits. My commentary was on the laws about mandatory confiscation of property. If he was motivated by just wanting to keep it as an object of beauty or even donating it as a gift to the local museum rather than the nattional one he wouldn't be entitled to do so. "People like me" don't like the government dictating to us. I'm perfectly fine with laws about preserving historically significant items but not those which require you to give it up, even if they give you what they consider to be "fair" compensation for it. I might even come to support a law which says if you decide to sell it you must allow museums to bid on them prior to maaking a private sale.
I suppose people like you prefer to put your high minded ideals and preferences onto everyone else by fiat.
Or maybe I'm just bitter that when I discovered the bones of Ponce DeLeon in my backyard clutching a vial marked "Eternal Life Elixer" I foolishly told the local authorities and now he and his bottle are sitting in a warehouse in Area 51 and I've continued to age at a depressingly normal rate. Oh well.
Um, you can’t find gold with a metal detector...
Hmmm. It says “Ovaltine” and “decoder” on it.
I’d get a second opinion.
Thanks BGHater. You have been doing a big part of keeping the GGG ping list lively.
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The one total loser from a bloodthirsty family of cutthroats.Robert III 'Curthose' (r.1089- 1106)Robert was the oldest son of William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders and was born circa 1051. His nick-name of Curthose, meaning short clothing was apparently acquired when his father teased him as a child for having short legs. Although he rebelled against his father in his lifetime, he succeeded to the Dukedom of Normandy on the Conqueror's death in 1087. England was left to the third son, William Rufus. Robert was married to Sybilla, daughter of Geoffrey of Brindisi, Count of Conversano, by whom he had a son:-
The Dukes of Normandy(1) William Clito, Count of Flanders, (born October 25, 1102)Robert Curthose took part in the First Crusade, to finance his involvement, he pawned Normandy to his brother. On the death of William II in 1100, the English throne was siezed by the youngest of the Conqueror's sons, Henry I, leading Robert to launch an unsuccessful invasion of England to retake the crown. Henry invaded Normandy in 1105, capturing it from his brother. Robert was taken captive at the Battle of Tinchebrai in 1106 and was to spend the rest of his life as Henry's prisoner. Willliam Clito died as a result of wounds acquired at the Siege of Aalst in 1128, marking the end of Robert's line. Robert himself died at Cardiff Castle in 1134 in his eighties.
I do it all the time. That’s how I retired early. :)
Very nice. I’ve been thinking about getting a metal detector for coin hunting.
And fire can’t melt steel
The mix might, but they are probably going by styles and locations.
The value is determined by an independent adjudication. It has to be a little arbitary because how can you value something like that? Its certainly worth more than the gold it is made of.
I’ve never heard of anyone being disappointed with the figures they come up with.
Are you asserting that you can pick up gold with a magnet? I urge you to try it.
If it is with iron, the metal detector could find the iron - but, even 1000 years ogo, it was pretty well known how to purify gold (heat it), and I would guess a royal ring would be pure gold.
The article mentions no other objects found with the ring.
And you can’t find pure gold with a magnet (metal detector).
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