Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Hampshire treasure on display in the Netherlands

Monday, 21 July 2014

One of Hampshire's internationally important Anglo-Saxon treasures has gone on display in the Dutch city of Leiden.

The Alton Buckle, discovered in the mid 1960s, and usually on show in the town's Curtis Museum, is spending the summer in the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities as part of its 'Golden Middle Ages' exhibition.

The showcase marks the fact that the Rijnsburg buckle was found in the Netherlands 100 years ago. It brings together more than 500 exquisite pieces from around the globe including Childric's sword, on loan from Paris. The exhibition runs until 26 October. As well as status symbols and weapons of war, it will also highlight home life and aspects of childhood from the period.

In order to fill the gap left by the Alton Buckle, a replica has been acquired and put in its place until early November when the genuine article will be returned to its rightful home.

The buckle was found in the grave of an Anglo-Saxon warrior with a sword, shield boss, spear heads and numerous small items. The finds from Hampshire's pagan Saxon cemeteries, together with those found during excavations of the Saxon settlements in Southampton and Winchester, are of international significance. The objects on display at the Curtis Museum are part of Hampshire County Council's archaeology collection, which is cared for by a team of specialists at Chilcomb House in Winchester.

Councillor Keith Chapman, Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Culture, Communities and Countryside, said

The Alton Buckle is the finest piece of Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship to have been found in Hampshire, and is amongst the most beautiful and accomplished Anglo-Saxon pieces to have been found outside the famous Sutton Hoo burial. It is a privilege to lend it to the Dutch National Museum and I hope many people from around the world will take the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Alton Buckle.

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