Most Important Viking Treasure in 150 Years is Jointly Acquired by Two British Museums

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The Vale of York hoard has been acquired through a unique partnership between the York Museums Trust and the British Museum.

This major Viking hoard, an important and exciting find, is joint-owned and will be displayed equally between the two partners. Highlights of the hoard will be displayed initially at the Yorkshire Museum in York (17 September – 1 November 2009). It will then travel to the British Museum.

The hoard was declared Treasure and was valued at £1,082,000 by the independent Treasure Valuation Committee. The Vale of York hoard has been acquired with the substantial and generous support of a National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) grant of £507,100, and a £250,000 grant from independent charity The Art Fund. Additional funding came from the Challenge Fund (£97,500) and York Museums Trust (£30,000). A huge sum of £200,000 was raised through public appeal with many individual generous donations from the British Museum Friends. Additional funds were raised to cover conservation costs.

The size and quality of the material in the hoard is remarkable, making it the most important find of its type in Britain for over 150 years. It was discovered in the Harrogate area in January 2007 by two metal-detectorists, David and Andrew Whelan, who kept the find intact and promptly reported it to their local Finds Liaison Officer.

Conservation work has recently started on the hoard to restore it to its former glory. More information on the hoard has come to light through this process. The vessel which contained most of the hoard can now be seen to be decorated with niello (a black metal inlay), as well as extensive gilding. New details are also visible in the decoration of some of the silver jewellery fragments, and in the designs and inscriptions of the coins. The first newly conserved objects will be revealed on 27 August.

Mary Kershaw, Director of Collections at York, said: “The Vale of York Viking Hoard is a once in a lifetime find. It will greatly add to the understanding of the early 900's in Yorkshire and its connections with the wider world.”..

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