Displayed in its entirety since its unexpected discovery over 100 years ago, “The Cheapside Hoard” is the longest surviving jewel collection of the Elizabethan period.
The Cheapside Hoard
Discovered in 1912 by a group of construction workers, the unearthed treasure consisted of a vast cache of jewels recovered from under a cellar floor in the London neighbourhood of Cheapside.
Gold and pearl cage pendants.
The lavish collection comprised of almost 500 pieces of Elizabethan and Early Stuart-period, included a fine array of set gemstones and opulent jewellery of all types. (W Magazine, 2015)
Delicate, bejeweled necklaces and chains hang in the display.
The enchanting chains enriched with delicate enamelled flowers interspersed with leaves were once speculated to adorn garments as well as the neck.
A bejeweled scent bottle.
The 16th century was a time of exploration: overseas trade routes were established, and goods and people moved across countries more than ever before. Precious stones flooded into Britain, and they were followed by skilled craftsmen.
A Colombian emerald, diamond, and enamel Salamander brooch
The exhibition also hosts a number of alluring portraits, designed to show how different items of jewellery were worn, and how fashionable it was to adorn oneself and one’s garments with gems.
Briolette amethyst pendants
There are an amazing number of pendants in the hoard, each embedded with intricate amethysts that glitter and sparkle.
A garnet pendant hanging in front of a portrait of Elizabeth Wriothesley, Countess of Southampton.
With an aura of mystery still surrounding the hoard such as who buried it and why, recent research conducted by the museum has concluded the estimated years of burial were between 1640 and 1666.
A brass gilt watch with maker’s mark: ‘G Ferlite.’
An elaborate gemstone with an engraved design, blazoned with the heraldic badge of William Howard, the first and only Viscount Stafford (1612-1680) defined the time of burial.
Carved amethyst and emerald grape.
While the idea of treasure continues to captivate the world, its allure often lies in its mystery as well as its beauty.
Display of rubies, pearls, amethysts and diamonds chains.
The recovered treasure now acts as a fascinating resource for historians, shedding light on jewellery and its trade networks of the 16th century. (Museum of London, 2015)