"Spectacular" gold Anglo-Saxon ring found by detectorist to go on show in Essex

By Culture24 Reporter | 31 March 2014

A 6th or 7th century gold ring, described as "spectacular" by curators, will go on public display in Essex after being discovered by a detectorist three years ago

A photo of various gold archaeological discoveries
A gold finger ring will remain in Essex after being bought by the Saffron Walden Museum© Portable Antiquities Scheme
Tony Carter, a resident of Uttlesford, found the 1,400-year-old jewel - dubbed The North-Essex Ring - in 2011, describing it as the highlight of his 41 years in metal detecting.

It is highly decorated with Anglo-Saxon motifs. Birds, an interlaced ornament, an engraving of a belted human figure with a cross, a bird of prey and a range of pagan Anglo-Saxon and Christian symbols all adorn its sphere.

A close-up photo of a piece of gold jewellery decorated with pagan symbolic engravings
© Courtesy Saffron Walden Museum
“The museum has received an unprecedented level of support to acquire it,” said Tony Watson, the Chairman of the Saffron Walden Museum Society, thanking benefactors including the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Art Fund, whose Treasure Plus initiative has allowed the museum to install a permanent showcase for the ring.

Roman coin hoards from Lindsell and Ashdon, medieval silver coins from Farnham and a gold ring from the late Tudor or Jacobean period, decorated with symbols of Christ’s Passion, will also take the spotlight.

“It is wonderful that such a remarkable find has been made in the Uttlesford district.

“Now this ring and other treasure found locally can be enjoyed by everyone.

“The Society is extremely grateful to all the donors and organisations which have supported our appeal so magnificently.”

Silver and gold decorated tags and fasteners from Anglo-Saxon, Tudor and Stuart clothing – said to demonstrate the care and craftsmanship of high-status clothing through the centuries – will also go on show when the archaeology gallery display is revealed to the public this weekend.

  • Opens April 5 2014.

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