The Cheapside Hoard: London's Lost Jewels

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Cheapside Hoard (© Museum of London)
© Museum of London

Selection of items from the Cheapside Hoard. The Cheapside Hoard was uncovered by workmen during demolition work at 30-32 Cheapside in 1912.

Emerald Watch (© Museum of London)
© Museum of London
Scent Bottle (© Museum of London)
© Museum of London

Gold scent bottle enamelled white and set with opaline chalcedony plaques, rubies, spinels and diamonds, with a gold suspension chain. Part of the Cheapside Hoard. This richly decorated bottle was designed to contain perfume made from flower distillations

Salamander Brooch (© Museum of London)
© Museum of London
Quartz Cat's Eye Carved Monkey (© Museum of London)
© Museum of London
Gold and Enamel Chain (© Museum of London)
© Museum of London
Emerald Carved Parrott (© Museum of London)
© Museum of London
Bloodstone Strawberry Leaf (© Museum of London)
© Museum of London
Fake Spinel (© Museum of London)
© Museum of London
Cheapside Conservator (© Museum of London)
© Museum of London
Carved Byzantine Amethyst (© Museum of London)
© Museum of London
Reliquary Locket (© Museum of London)
© Museum of London

This major new exhibition at the superb Museum of London showcases one of the most remarkable finds in London's long history. The Cheapside Hoard – discovered in a cellar only a few hundred metres from the museum itself in 1912 – is a priceless cache of some 500 late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth century jewels and gemstones.

Who owned the Hoard? Why and when was it hidden? Why was it never reclaimed? The museum will try to solve these longstanding mysteries using cutting-edge research, using the precious artefacts as a jumping-off point for an exploration of Elizabethan and Jacobean London, demonstrating how the city became a centre of craftsmanship from both Old and New Worlds, and the effects of the cataclysm that was the English Civil War.