Dragons, coins and silken purses

What would you hide?

next events for Hoards?

A heap, a hoard, a treasure, a treat…a glitter of staters across a cave floor, the gleam of a brooch in darkness, a dream wrapped and bound and hidden in hope. What makes a hoard so special – and so very personal?

The Hoards: a hidden history of ancient Britain is still shining its way through the Museum galleries and our next set of events is coming up fast. Why not drop in and join us? all events are free and where materials are involved, they will be provided. Children of 7 years and less need to bring an adult with them but otherwise events are open to everyone

the plant that eats the robbers….

Sunday 26 May, 12 noon–3.30pm
Giants, dragons and terrible traps
How would you protect your hoard? Would there be a monster rumbling in a corner? Would there be a dragon resting on the pile of your gold? Or would you design some terrible trap, a maze of crushing rocks and flying spikes and trapdoors to flip a robber into a bottomless pit….
Cartoonist Martin Olsson will help you draw your treasure and how you would keep it hidden!

Allow 45 minutes.

Venue: Buxton Museum

Thursday 30 May, 10am–12noon
Make and take: curious coins
Counting your pennies…..what coins will fill your hoard? Have a look at the coins in the exhibiton: there are horses and hands, gods and heroes, numbers, names and things we cannot decipher. Would you be the face on your lost gold? Would you hoard some unicorn pennies or open-hand thruppenies, or wren farthings…..
Design your own coins with local artist Sarah Males.
Allow 45 minutes.

Venue: Buxton Museum

Sunday 2 June, 12noon–3.30pm
Silk purses and sow’s ears

“What would hold your hoard? Do you want a beautiful patterned purse, all beads and embroidery? Or would you like a painted pouch pulled tight with a drawstring to hold your hoarded coins safe? Or maybe you are a sow’s ear person, a folded twist of old leather, tough as boots and bristling with a the last of a pig’s hair
Make your own treasure bag with the Creeping Toad team, a special something to keep your coins in.

Allow 45 minutes.

Venue: Buxton Museum

These events overlap with our wonderful half.fish festival. You don’ t know about our mermaid excitements? Go here for a sense of the tide that is running!

Photo by Rob Young

 

 

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Maps, dragons and tiger-leopards

A golden dragon sits on a crumpled map

First Hoards events

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

golden eggs

We never really know what’s going to happen on an event. We can be fairly sure of the materials we will use and the general direction of activity but it is hard, when planning for dragons, to anticipate Dandelion Cats

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Dandelion Cats

We have started plotting the stories of the hoards we are buolding through the events programme now

 

There were maps to take you to a hidden hoard if you are clever enough to decipher the clues and brave enough to risk the dangers…

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Under the sea?

In a pyramid?

Near the swings in the park?

On the other side of the moon?

Surrounded by trees and fiercely guarded by a cat!

Where will you hide your treasure? 

And how will you know how to find it?

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On Thursday, there were dragons hatching from golden eggs to guard golden hoards….or maybe not. Hence the Dandelion Cats who guard golden flowers for bumblebees. There were several very laid back foxes who could sort of, maybe, OK now and then, guard, well, something. Someone had said, you know, Someone asked them to…well, someone offered to pay…but what are pennies to a fox who is counting rabbits?

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What hoard would a Viking guard?*

And there is an ongoing question: what do you value?

What is the precious thing that you would keep safe for centuries?

Would it be golden wonders?

Or a pottery ball full of coins?

Or seeds for a future flowering?

Friendship?

 

And there was Molly, the Tiger Leopard, guarding her wonderful little Leopard Cub, the rarest cub in all the world. And there was Bessie the Bear with her Unicorns who were very interested in that same cub…..

Tiger leopard

 

The next Hoards events are as follows. All these events are at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery and all events are free and unless it says otherwise, you can just turn up and join in. With talks please arrive for the scheduled start. For other events allow 30 minutes at least for the activity.

 

1. Dave the Moneyer, Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th April, 12 – 3.30pm. Come and watch how money used to be made….

 

More details, here: https://buxtonmuseumandartgallery.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/a-glitter-of-coins-event/

Or here: https://www.facebook.com/events/830578163972722/

Dave’s own company, Grunal Moneta, can be visited, here.

 

2. Talk: Hoards and hordes – the Viking conquest and settlement of the East Midlands,

Tuesday 30 April, 11am–12noon Join British Museum curator Gareth Williams to find out how archaeological discoveries combine with historical evidence and place-names to shape our understanding of the Viking presence in Derbyshire and surrounds.

 

More information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2214633065510425/

 

3. Managing your own Hoard

Thursday 2 May, 12noon–4pm

Get information on handling household finances and managing debt from the money advisors at Citizens Advice Derbyshire District.

 

4. Treasure Chests 

Sunday 5 May, 12 noon–3.30pm

Make and take a treasure chest for the hoard you haven’t got yet…or that you might be hiding under the bed. In a sock. With a dragon. Allow 45 minutes.

More information:

Here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2153931458047298/

 

Or here; http://creepingtoad.blogspot.com/2019/03/from-maps-to-dragons-events-at-buxton.html

 

Or call Buxton Museum and Art Gallery on 01629 533540

 

Hoards: a hidden history of ancient Britain

A British Museum and Salisbury Museum Partnership Exhibition

This exhibition runs from Saturday 13th April to Sunday 16th June, 2019 in Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

 

* Vikings: we had a Viking today with a very big, very fluffy beard who sailed away in an eggshell boat – probably following a treasure map drawn by a fox…. 

And many thanks to our friends from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust who joined us on Sunday on such a lovely day we had hardly any visitors!

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Gold for the Gods

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery is one of five venues to host ‘Hoards: a hidden history of ancient Britain,’ and the only one in the Midlands and North West. The exhibition showcases objects from Prehistory to the post-medieval period that tell us how people lived, what they valued, why they collected and stored objects that they considered precious and what circumstances may have led to hoards remaining hidden.

More often than not objects were hidden because of times of economic hardship, warfare, or as gifts to the gods. Three of the most spectacular items on display at the Hoards exhibition are gold neck torcs dating to the Iron Age, and which were most likely deposited in the ground as offerings to the gods. Two on display come from a hoard from Ipswich in Suffolk, territory of the Trinovantes tribe, and the other was found as part of a hoard from Snettisham in Norfolk, the territory of the Iceni. 

Anyone visiting the exhibition cannot fail to be impressed by these huge collars of twisted and plaited gold, and this must also have been the effect, and the intention, during the time of the Celts. For the Celts jewellery was a highly important status symbol and a clear sign of wealth and rank. The torc was reserved for the aristocracy, as well as the gods, and they seem to have possessed an intrinsic magical and religious significance. Depictions of Celtic gods and goddesses often show them wearing a torc.  G

Ipswich torc with La Tene decoration

Roman authors provide a good description of the Celtic aristocracy, often describing them as ostentatiously flaunting their wealth. Diodorus Siculus describes warriors going into battle, hair spiked using lime water, and completely naked except for their weapons and gold torcs. Cassius Dio describes Queen Boudicca of the Iceni as wearing a huge gold torc, and Quintilian writes that a delegation of Gallic Celts presented the Emperor Augustus with a gold torc weighing thirty three kilograms – far too heavy to wear!

A question we are often asked at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery is “how were the torcs put on?” Julia Farley, curator of British and European Iron Age collections at the British Museum, has suggested that they were put around the neck “by being bent slightly out of shape, slipped onto the neck, and then bent back into shape again.” One torc from Ipswich, which is on display in the Hoards exhibition, clearly shows that it has been bent out of shape to make the opening larger. Some torcs do show repeated flexing of the metal; this eventually leads to a lot of stress being exerted onto the metal which eventually becomes brittle and snaps. One gold torc from Snettisham (not on display at Buxton) had snapped in antiquity and been soldered back together again, the break being hidden by a thin sheet of gold. Some torcs have hidden hinges or removable sections to allow easier fitting to the neck; when worn they would have given the impression of a solid ring of metal.

Ipswich torc bent out of shape to wear

Some torcs are far too rigid and heavy to be bent out of shape and worn, and it is possible that these were attached to cult statues or held aloft during ceremonies. A clue to this can be seen on the famous Gundestrupp cauldron from Denmark; one scene on the cauldron shows a seated deity with antlers to his head, interpreted as the god Cernunnos, surrounded by animals and wearing a torc around his neck and holding one up in his right hand. At Maily, Champagne, France, comes a torc with an inscription in Greek which alludes to it being part of a large offering of treasure dedicated to the gods by the tribe of the Nitrobriges in south-west Gaul. By offering precious items into the ground, or in water, the Celts were placing them into a liminal world between that of humans and the gods.

One of the Snettisham torcs with associated torc fragments

It is possible that torcs were placed around the neck of Celtic aristocracy at a rite of passage, such as a coming of age ceremony, or upon inauguration as a king or queen of a tribe. Some may have been only produced as votive offerings, intended to be buried and sent to the realm of the gods, out of reach of humans. Some bog bodies have been found wearing leather torcs around their necks, and this type may be associated with sacrificial rituals.

You may notice that one of the Ipswich torcs is decorated to both of its terminals with a foliate curvilinear pattern; this is known as the La Tene style (named after an archaeological site in Switzerland) and was a much favoured style of art across most of Europe and the British Isles from the 5th to 1st century BC; in fact it was so popular that the Celts are also known as the La Tene culture.

Torcs are frequently mentioned in the vernacular mythology of Wales and Ireland. The tale of Culhwch and Olwen describes Olwen as wearing a large gold neck-ring, and Giraldus Camberensis mentions a well in Pembrokeshire which contained a gold torc guarded by a serpent who bit anyone who attempted to steal it.

If you would like to discover more about hoards please come along to one of the following free talks at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery:

Hoards and hordes: – the Viking conquest and settlement of the East Midlands, by Gareth Williams, curator of early medieval coins at the British Museum, on Tuesday 30 April, 11am – 12 noon.

Talking torcs – the Leekfrith Hoard, by Teresa Gilmore, Finds Liaison Officer for Staffordshire and the West Midlands, on Wednesday 12 June, 11am – 12 noon.

A glitter of coins – event

Dave the Moneyer

Saturday 27th, Sunday 28th April

12noon – 3.30pm

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

Reynards Cave 76087206_coins
A coin is hammered, and beaten and shaped to be carried, pursed, pocketed and walleted. A single coin might be polished by the hands of centuries, traded, treasured, stolen and hoarded. The old coins in our old hoards probably started life like the coins Dave from Grunal Moneta will strike on his travelling mint this weekend, so come and watch the beginning of a story that might run for another 2,000 years

Dave is bringing his travelling mint to Buxton Museum, so come and find out how to ‘make’ money (and even help), the beginning of a story that might run for another 2,000 years……

This event is free: no booking is needed, just drop by and join in

This event is part of the Hoards Event Programme
Hoards: a hidden history of ancient Britain
A British Museum and Salisbury Museum Partnership Exhibition
This exhibition runs from Saturday 13th April to Sunday 16th June, 2019 in Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

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A Season for Treasures

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collected treasure stones

Family events for the Hoards exhibition

As the Hoards exhibition unrolls its treasures in the Museum, we are unfolding our own series of Hoarding events to accompany it

Using a set of questions to shape our plans, events respond to the challenges

 

Where would you hide your hoard? (Tricky Treasure Maps, 18th April)

What would guard your hoard? (Here be Dragons 25th April, Giants, Dragons and Terrible Traps, 26th May)

What treasures would your Hoard hold? (A Golden Day 21st April, Curious Coins 30th May)

What will hold your Hoard? (Treasure Chests 5th May, Silk Purses and Sow’s Ears 15th May, 2nd June; Pottery Piggies 9th June)

 

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll get entries on all of these on this blog (a couple are already linked in the list above)

Meanwhile, keep an eye on these pages and on the Creeping Toad blog and facebook page for details

thumbnail1. TRICKY TREASURE MAPS

Date: Thursday 18th April

Time: 10am – 12 noon

Place: Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

 

Where would you hide your hoard?

What clues would you offer to the lost treasures of Grin Low, the buried wonders of Pavilion Gardens, or the Terrible Treasures of Skellybob Wood?

 

10 paces, 2 paces. 

A hop, a skip and a jump. 

Head north and east 

Or west and south. 

Turn around and sing….under  the bridge and over the river, 

Behind the rock, 

Behind the rocks,

Behind the last hope of any help…..

 

Join artist Sarah Males for a morning of wild invention: draw your own treasure map. Add as many wonderful things and terrible obstacles as can fit on a crumpled sheet of paper

 

No ideas? No problem! Just take a wander through the Wonders of the Peaks gallery, or even better, loiter in the Hoards exhibition…

  • Materials provided
  • Free
  • No booking needed: just drop by and join in
  • Last entry 11.30

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collected treasure stones

2. A GOLDEN DAY

Date: Sunday 21st April

Time: 12 – 3.30

Place: Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

What will we find in your hoard?

An afternoon starting your own hoard: make your own treasure. There will be the broken shells of golden eggs hatching golden fish perhaps, or beautiful birds. Maybe your own golden brooch or badge.

A curling golden dragon armlet,

A shining golden ring,

Who knows what treasures

A spring afternoon may bring?

 

Collect a golden stone to share some golden moments among the High Peak Rocks.

Meet the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and find out more about Nature’s own gold-keepers and hoard-makers

  • Materials provided
  • Free
  • No booking needed: just drop by and join in
  • Last entry 3.00

Gryphon 5 copy 33. HERE BE DRAGONS

Date: Thursday 25th April

Time: 10am – 12 noon

Place: Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

What will guard your hoard?

Or whose hoard are you setting out to steal? Will you slide a golden coin from under the fiery belly and watchful gaze of Smaug the Dragon? Will the Wyrm of Wormhill find its treasure plundered? Or will l there be a dragon under your bed who will wrap herself up in dressing gowns and gold and keep your treasure quite, quite safe?

Then, we should remember that Gryphons are the Hereditary Guardians of Treasure so maybe you would like an eagle-headed, lion-bodied, wide-winged friend nesting in the shrub at the bottom of your garden. Or maybe we just need a fluffy kitten to distract people…..

On this morning, we’ll be making dragons….just little ones but as friendly or as ferocious as you like

  • Materials provided
  • Free
  • No booking needed: just drop by and join in
  • Last entry 11.30

 

These are Creeping Toad events for Buxton Museum and Art Gallery as part of the Hoards Event Programme

Hoards: a hidden history of ancient Britain

A British Museum and Salisbury Museum Partnership Exhibition

This exhibition runs from Saturday 13th April to Sunday 16th June, 2019 in Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

Bumblebee close up
some treasures grow and enrich everyone