Friday, September 24, 2004


Brooch is 600 years old - found while beachwalking


The Montrose Review
By Mark Dowie -

A CHANCE glance in the right direction led to an unusual find for local man Alexzander McBeath.

Mr McBeath was walking along the beach near Ferryden when his attention was drawn to an object lying at the edge of a rockpool. He thought it was a regimental cap badge from World War II and took it to the local museum who sent it on to the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh for further examination.

Mr McBeath has now received a letter telling him the object appears to be part of a late mediaeval pewter brooch originating in the Netherlands and dating from around 1350 to 1400.

Stuart Campbell of the Treasure Trove Advisory Panel Secretariat told Mr McBeath that such brooches are reasonably common finds in the mudflats of the Thames and Low Countries but not in Scotland.

"I was quite excited by that as I've never found anything like this before," said Mr McBeath. "I handed it in not thinking it was anything that special and for them to come back and say it could be around 600 years old is amazing. There's no clue yet, though, as to how it got there."

Mr Campbell told the Review this type of brooch appears to be an early form of costume jewellery, mass produced in base metal alloys in the same styles as the more expensive precious metal brooches of the day to be affordable to the average person.

"The interesting thing is that Mr McBeath's find is of the same style as a find in the Netherlands," he said. "In a sense this isn't too surprising as there were close cultural and trade links between Scotland and the Low Countries. A lot of the mediaeval pottery found in Scotland came from the Netherlands for example, as did a lot of decorative metalwork and so forth.

"It is the case that a lot of east coast towns had particularly strong links with the Low Countries so this find is a nice illustration of what these cultural links meant for a specific town."

Brooch will be claimed as Treasure Trove as an artefact of cultural significance.

In Scotland archaeological objects found in the soil are national property - belonging to the "Crown" - although the finder receives a reward equating to the object's market value. The system aims to ensure that objects of cultural significance are on display or in museums for the public benefit.

The allocation of the object to a museum is the Treasure Trove Advisory Panel's responsibility. The panel is an independent organisation and Mr Campbell said the initial presumption currently is for allocation to a local museum.

Although Mr McBeath has never been a metal detectorist or had a particularly strong interest in archaeology, he said he will be keeping his eyes peeled from now on for any further finds.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?