Silversmith ‘humbled’ by chance to examine 2,000-year-old artefact

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A SHEFFIELD silversmith has completed an investigation into a beautiful 2,000-year-old silver bowl – the earliest known piece to have been handmade in Britain.

Top contemporary silversmith Alex Brogden, aged 57, was called in to look at evidence for the tools and techniques used by the ancient Briton who made the artefact.

Then he was asked to create a replica using the same methods employed to create the original.

He said: “Examining and handling this ancient silver bowl was a fascinating and exhilarating experience.

“What made it so exciting was being able to literally feel and recognise the marks and techniques of the ancient silversmith and it was humbling to think the fundamental skills of the silversmith have changed so little over the centuries.”

The Corieltavi silver bowl is named after the Iron Age tribe of the same name who inhabited what is now modern-day Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and Lincolnshire.

It is the highlight of a new exhibition at Goldsmiths’ Hall in London to mark British Silver Week.

The bowl, which fits in the palm of a hand, provides new evidence on the tradition of the ancient Iron Age silversmiths in Britain, a field previously unrecognised.

The bowl, together with Celtic and Roman coins and other extraordinary artefacts, comes from the Hallaton Treasure, described by the British Museum as ‘a find of national significance’.

It was unearthed in 2000 together with two ingots and Celtic coins at an open air shrine at Hallaton in Leicestershire.

The items are believed to have been buried during the last decade of the 1st century BC and the initial decades of the 1st century AD.