The Scarborough News
£90,000 estimate for Ryedale Bronzes
Four incredible Roman bronze artefacts unearthed by metal detectorists in Ryedale are to be auctioned this month.
A bronze bust of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius is among the unique collection of 2,000-year-old artefacts, known as the Ryedale Ritual Bronzes, a group of religious finds discovered by metal detectorists in a Ryedale field in May 2020.
The collection is on public view for the first time, before the auction on May 20.
As well as the bust, which would have been mounted as the head of a priest’s sceptre, the hoard contains an equestrian statuette of the god Mars, a horse head knife handle and a large bronze pendulum.
The “nationally important” collection has a pre-sale estimate of £70,000 to £90,000.
Adam Staples, Historica expert at Hansons Auctioneers, said: “The hoard of artefacts was probably buried as a religious offering which marked the closure of a rural shrine or the death of a priest.”
Hansons have received worldwide interest in the bronzes due to their rarity and remarkable condition.
The auction house will exhibit the incredible collection in York on May 11 and at Hansons’ Derbyshire headquarters – it will only be available to view by appointment which can be made over the phone or email.
Mr Staples said: “The bust has survived extremely well and is in very fine condition with a glossy green patina. This is a very rare opportunity to own a nationally important group of artefacts.”
Marcus Aurelius became Emperor in March of AD 161 and his 19-year reign was one of relative peace and prosperity for Rome.