A 15th century gold pendant that lain buried beneath Hertfordshire farmland since the time of Henry VIII until it was discovered by an amateur metal detector is to be offered for sale at Sotheby’s Old Master Sculpture and Works of Art auction in London on Thursday 9 July 2009.
The remarkable gold object that depicts the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is no bigger than a postage stamp and caries an estimate of £150,000 – 250,000. The engraving is of superb quality and is comparable to mounts in two major international museums – the Victoria and Albert in London and The Cloisters in New York. It was discovered by an amateur metal detector just a few inches underground whilst walking in fields near her home. The detecting enthusiast had no idea of the value and importance of the piece when it was first uncovered.
Discussing the mount, Carolyn Miner, a Specialist in Sotheby’s Sculpture and Works of Art Department, said: “Finds such as this are extremely rare. It is remarkable that a gold pendant has survived intact and in such wonderful condition since the second half of the 15th century. The craftsmanship is staggeringly ornate for such a small piece and traces of the original enamel can even be seen in some of the grooves. I am absolutely thrilled for the lucky metal detector who has uncovered a piece of history.”