Southampton has an interesting history, being on the Channel coast and open to invasion by the likes of Romans and Vikings. Buried hoards of their jewellery turn up from time to time to the delight of museums. This has spawned a generation of optimists pottering with metal detectors a few of whom literally strike gold.
A solicitor I often work with directed me to a cottage in a tiny village fifteen miles inland from the coast. When I stopped by for a new battery for my camera, the lady in the post office was very helpful and directed me to address I was attending so getting this probate valuation in Southampton became much easier.
The Deceased Remarkable Collection of Roman Artifacts
The deceased lived in a small cottage so far down a country lane I might not have found it without the post office lady’s directions. I found myself in a time warp of aging furniture and collectables. I noticed there were several metal detectors leaning against a wall.
However, I was more interested in the large trestle table against the inside wall of the lounge. That’s because a collection of artifacts was weighing it down that could have only come from a Roman hoard. The somewhat-worn short stabbing sword left me in no doubt.
As I checked through old coins I came across an armlet of around twenty pearls strung together on a copper wire. The string also had a metal disc hanging from it with an engraving of a handsome young soldier’s face. Was that a son or a lover I wondered, because the owner was clearly of wealthy stock.
Piecing Together the History of the Pearl Armlet
I knew from my school history lessons that the Romans were attracted to the south coast of England by the prospect of finding saltwater pearls. I also knew the Romans favoured flashy jewellery, compared to the plain ornamentation of the Greeks because it was a clear indication of their status.
Roman women in particular loved earrings, necklaces, armlets, bracelets, and brooches for securing long, flowing clothing. Their favourite gemstones were amethysts, emeralds, and you guessed it strings of pearls. I reported my discovery to the nearest museum and continued valuing the contents of the home.
A Quick Update of What Happened Since Then
The items from the hoard did not hold much value except for the pearl armlet. The executor instructed us later to carry out a probate house clearance of the remaining items. The armlet is in safe keeping with a London auctioneer who reports great interest from collectors.