In June 1912, workmen demolishing an old timber framed building in London noticed something in the dirt as they were breaking up the cellar floor with their pick axes. As the soil was scraped away they uncovered an old wooden casket. Inside was a tangled mix of precious Elizabethan jewellery unseen for hundreds of years.
The Horde has almost 500 dazzling gemstones from many parts of the world. There is a cameo of Elizabeth I, a gold watch set in a massive emerald from Colombia; sapphires, diamonds and rubies from the India and Sri Lanka; glistening pearls, opals and turquoise and Egyptian, Byzantine and classical gems.
Very little other jewellery has survived from this time.
The treasure was named ‘the Cheapside Hoard’ because it was found in Cheapside which was the heart of Tudor London’s Goldsmiths trade, the main shopping street and the ceremonial route seen in many coronation paintings.
I saw it in 2014, when it was on display at the Museum of London and it was magnificent. The collection is one of the most spectacular finds ever recovered on British soil. Contemporary portraits do not do justice to the truly beautiful jewellery that rich Tudors wore.
Please note: The cheapside hoard is not currently on display it is only viewable online. A purpose-built gallery for the permanent display of the Hoard is planned for our new museum in Smithfield, which is scheduled to open in 2021.
Link to London Museum full zoomable photographs of the hoard:
About The Museum of London
The Museum of London tells the ever-changing story of this great world city and its people, from 450,000 BC to the present day. Our galleries, exhibitions, displays and activities seek to inspire a passion for London and provide a sense of the vibrancy that makes the city such a unique place.
The museum is open daily 10am – 6pm and is FREE to all. You can explore the Museum of London with collections online – home to 80,000 objects with more being added.www.museumoflondon.org.uk
Below: Information and images of the Horde display in 2013/14: