Not-so-buried treasure: Add Colchester's Roman-style pieces to your jewellery box

Feast your eyes on Fenwick’s own not-so-buried treasure, a hoard of Roman jewellery unveiled for the first time at Fenwick Bond Street this week.

Main Jewel Image

Archaeologists discovered the hoard a few metres beneath Fenwick Colchester’s old towels department in the final week before construction began to redevelop the store last September.

The treasure, hidden for almost 2000 years, is among the first valuable archaeology to be found in Colchester, England’s oldest recorded town and the first Roman capital of Britain.

While the pieces come with a strict "Look, don't touch" policy, thanks to jewellery designers Rachel Boston and Georgiana Scott you can now add the Roman-style pieces to your favourite modern looks.

Rachel Scott designs

Rachel Boston Collection for Fenwick: Bangle, £450; Ring, £295; Earrings, £359

Rachel Boston's bangle, ring and earrings (above) are modelled after the Roman hoard - the ring features green Malachite hand cut from Hatton Garden, inspired by the emeralds which were popular in Roman jewellery.

Georgiana Scott's two-piece collection puts a modern twist on the discovered jewellery with an Italian-made 18kt yellow gold vermeil twisted cuff (£355) and gold-plated ball hook earrings (£69).

The objects in the Fenwick Treasure (61AD-2014) consist of a small lidded box, a bag of mainly silver coins, gold and silver jewellery including gold and silver armlets and bracelets, necklaces, earrings and finger rings and a few keepsake items. 

Earrings and Cuffs

Obj large silver bracelet2

Items from the Fenwick Treasure: Gold Earrings, Gold Armlet and Silver Armlet

Historians believe the gold jewellery would have been worn by a wealthy Roman woman, while the silver jewellery, often used as military awards in 1st century AD, would have been worn by her husband, likely a former soldier. The couple appears to have hidden the items in the floor of their home prior to the Boudiccan raid on the town in AD 61. 

According to Nina Crummy, visiting research fellow from University of Reading: “Such a collection of precious metal jewellery and coins from a single archaeological context associated with the Boudican revolt has never before been found in Colchester, where the metal artefacts from the Boudican destruction levels are generally fragments of ordinary domestic items and military equipment.”

See the collection at Bond Street until 9 November before it moves to its permanent home at the Colchester Museum alongside other discoveries from the city.

The Rachel Boston and Georgiana Scott collections are available in-store or for pre-order at Fenwick Bond Street.

 

By Alison Millington