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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 8 April, 2003, 18:02 GMT 19:02 UK
Appeal to keep Saxon treasures
Harford brooch
The brooch has an inscription on the back
About 40,000 is needed to keep an important collection of Anglo-Saxon jewellery in Norfolk.

The Harford Farm hoard was found in a Saxon cemetery unearthed by archaeologists between 1989 and 1990 before Norwich's southern bypass was built.

The grave-goods were loaned to the county's museum service by the landowner - but he has now died, and the executors of his will must sell the treasures.

Tim Pestell of the Norfolk Museums Service said the 7th Century collection was "exactly the sort of thing we want to see because it tells a fantastic story.

"This is the moment in time that the Anglo-Saxon people in East Anglia gave up their pagan beliefs and became Christians, and we can see that in their objects.

"They're burying their objects with the dead, but at the same time they're beginning to use coins, adopt Christianity and become subjects to kings and other aristocratic rulers."

Harford dig
The excavations took place in 1989 to 1990

The most important of the treasures is a gold brooch with a runic inscription reading "Luda repaired this brooch".

Other items include gold and silver pendants and a silver animal head with glass eyes.

The haul has been valued at almost 92,000.

So far, the Friends of Norwich Museums have raised 10,000 and the National Art Collections Fund has pledged almost 42,000.

If the appeal is successful, the collection will form the centrepiece of a new Anglo-Saxon and Viking Gallery at Norwich Castle.

If not, it could be sold on the open market.

Treasures on show at Sutton Hoo
21 Mar 03  |  England
Dig uncovers city's Saxon past
14 Mar 03  |  England
Saxon remains to be reburied
22 Jan 03  |  England

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