As blogged earlier today, the Staffordshire Hoard made its way to London’s British Museum this week, to feverish public interest. And not wanting to miss out on the party, Heritage Key took a trip to Bloomsbury today, to give you a first-hand look at how it has been laid out for the capital’s history lovers. As you can see, there weren’t queues tailed back hundreds of yards outside the building – as was the case at earlier displays in Birmingham – but interest was high, with HK struggling to burst through the crowd for some decent shots.
There may only be a handful of the magnificent gold on show at the makeshift exhibition, but what’s there ranks among the find’s most astonishing pieces. The twisted gold cross that has become the hoard’s emblem is there, as is the Latin-inscribed band, and helmet fragments. Info is laid out on three handy wall displays – and that’s about it! No fancy hall or lavish branding, just a trio of glass cases with scant decoration. Perhaps the recently-found Stirling Iron Age gold will find more copious surroundings when its fate is decided a year from now.
Maybe the display will prompt more to venture north when the hoard is purchased by a syndicate of midlands museums, as is widely expected. Or perhaps the spartan layout will disappoint those used to the BM’s traditionally OTT exhibitions. Either way, it’s good for Britain’s biggest Saxon haul to see the capital, before it heads back to its Mercian homeland.