Page last updated at 12:52 GMT, Thursday, 26 November 2009

Anglo-Saxon gold is worth 3.285m

Anglo Saxon Gold
This gold strip carries the Latin inscription: "Rise up O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face." It has two sources, the Book of Numbers or Psalm 67, taken from the Vulgate, the Bible used by the Saxons.
Anglo Saxon Gold
Several sword fittings discovered in the hoard exhibit artwork known as Salin's Style II. This style of animal-related artwork showed beasts intertwined in complex, symmetrical patterns. Examples of this style were also found at Sutton Hoo.
Anglo Saxon Gold
Anglo-Saxon helmets are very rare - only four helmets like the one from which the above cheek plate is taken have survived. Despite the intricate artwork, this helmet, held by Terry Herbert, who found the hoard, would have been used in battle, the decoration marking out the wearer's status.
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A haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure recently unearthed in Staffordshire has been valued at £3.285m.

The money will be split between metal detector enthusiast Terry Herbert, who found the hoard, and Fred Johnson, who owns the farm where it was discovered.

Mr Johnson said he had not made any plans for the money but did not think he would be leaving his farm.

The value of the 7th century hoard, the largest Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found, was set by a committee of experts.

The haul comprises 1,600 items including sword pommels, helmet parts and processional crosses.

It was discovered by 55-year-old Mr Herbert, of Burntwood, in Staffordshire, in July.

It is of course immensely important that this extraordinary hoard is acquired for public benefit
Professor Norman Palmer

He found it on land owned by Mr Johnson, who said he had not decided how to spend the money yet.

"I'm not coming to any quick decisions," he said.

He said he had not been told when he will be paid the money and had no plans to move.

"I think I will probably stay around here.

"I have already wound down the operations, you can't do everything you used to be able to in your sixties."

He added he was confident there was nothing else to be found on his fields.

'Fair price'

"I am confident there's nothing else there now.

"But then again I was sure there wasn't anything there in the first place - so who knows?" he said.

Members of the Bloxwich Research and Metal Detecting Club, of which Terry Herbert is a member, had estimated in advance the gold would be worth around £3m.

Secretary Jim Wall described the final figure of £3.285m as "very nice".

He added: "The boy has done very well, it's a once in a million lifetime chance isn't it?

"The right time, the right place."

The final price for the hoard was set by eight dealers and experts on the treasure valuation committee.

Farmer Fred Johnson
Fred Johnson bought the field in 1983 and put the find down to "pure luck"

Chairman Professor Norman Palmer CBE said the committee had to analyse a very large amount of information in order to arrive at the price, which he described as "a fair market price".

He said: "It is of course immensely important that this extraordinary hoard is acquired for public benefit."

Now a fundraising campaign to bring the hoard back to the West Midlands has been launched.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent are both hoping to buy the treasure from the Crown.

Councillor Martin Mullaney, Birmingham City Council's cabinet member for leisure, sport and culture said talks were already taking place with potential funders to help them buy it.

"Over 42,000 people saw the treasure when it was displayed at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in September, and thanks to the generosity of the public we have already raised almost £40,000 towards the fundraising total," he said.

Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent city councils hope to acquire the treasure jointly, and have been given four months to raise the funds.

A book on the gold hoard has been produced, with a £1 donation from each sale going to the Hoard Appeal.

Part of the collection is on display at the British Museum in London.

It is due to move to the Potteries Museum for a temporary exhibition in the New Year.

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