9th Century Saxon Aestel Found by Metal Detector

Metal detecting enthusiast Tim Pearson, of Denaby, England, recently found a 9th century Saxon Aestel, which looks like a four inch long bottle, and may have served as a holder for sticks used to turn pages of religious books.

Pearson has two weeks to turn it over to the Rotherham Museum for evaluation. If the object is found to be valuable, the market price will be split between the finder and the landowner.

Gold Aestel Update

Hi. I just thought I'd give an update on the original article as it obviously attracted a fair bit of interest. So......here's the latest!

The aestel went through the whole treasure process & after valuation by the TVC, no museum was able to acquire the item. This meant it was disclaimed by The Crown and returned to myself as the legal owner, after the landowner declined any further interest.

The piece is currently on loan to Winchester Discovery Centre where it will remain on display until the exhibition ends on 27th April 2008. The exhibition is entitled " Alfred the Great, Warfare, Wealth & Wisdom" and is well worth a visit to see the fantasic array of treasures that have been brought together for the first time in history. I was there for the official opening of the exhibition on Friday 1st Febrary and for the earlier "press" viewing. I was absolutely awestruck to see something I'd found, in the same display case as some of the rarest treasures of King Alfred's reign.

My aestel, now officially christened "The Yorkshire Aestel", is on display in the same cabinet as its bigger (& smaller) brothers, The Alfred Jewel, The Warminster Jewel, The Minster Lovell Jewel, The Bowleaze Cove Jewel & and another aestel found whilst archaeologists were excavating a Viking Chieftains house in Borg, Norway. The latter brought over by Norwegian officials in person. Again, the first time in history that all the known aestels have ever been displayed together.

Similarities have been drawn with the "animal head" design on the Alfred Jewel and suggestions have been made that my aestel may have been made in the same workshop as The Alfred Jewel! These are the only two aestels to incorporate the "animal head" design! A photo can be seen on my band's blogspot http://nobodyzheroes.blogspot.com/ After the exhibition closes, my aestel will be going to Bonham's in London, in preparation to be auctioned in their October 2008 antiquities sale. That's all I can say for now apart from the fact that although I knew it was an important find, I couldn't believe the amount of interest it attracted.

Thank you for your interest.

PS The original newspaper article referred to the aestel as a "four inch bottle"!! My original photo had a tape measure alongside the aestel & it was misconstrued by the reporter. The tape measure was in centimeters!