An appeal has been launched by The Art Fund to help save the Frome Hoard – one of the most important collections of Roman coins in Britain – and keep it in Somerset where it was discovered.
The hoard, made up of 52,503 Roman coins dating from the 3rd century AD, was unearthed tightly packed in a pot and is the largest coin hoard to have been found in a single container. It was discovered by Dave Crisp on 11 April this year while he was metal-detecting near the town of Frome (pronounced Froom) in Somerset, and the Frome Hoard was declared Treasure under the Treasure Act 1996 on 22 July. The coins range from cAD 253 to c293 and this is said to be one of the largest and most important hoards of coins of this period in Britain.
An appeal has been launched by The Art Fund with £40,250 grant and the charity is offering to match further donations – for every £1 donated by a member of the public, the Art Fund will match it up to a total value of £10,000, boosting the appeal with up to a further £20,000. In October, the total value of the Hoard was announced at £320,250 and the Museum of Somerset has until 1 February 2011 to raise the sum to acquire the hoard and keep it on public display.
“To think that this pot packed full of coins lay buried beneath the soil for almost 2,000 years – it really is incredible”, said Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund. “We need to save the hoard so that experts can carry out vital research – and so that new generations can enjoy and be inspired by it.”
The first book on the Frome Hoard, written by experts Sam Moorhead, Roger Bland and Anna Booth, and published by the British Museum Press, is now available from www.britishmuseumshoponline.org: 50 pence of every sale will go towards vital conservation costs of the hoard.
To donate towards the appeal, please go to www.artfund.org/frome, or tel: 0844 415 4141.