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Medieval bishop's ring found by detectorist sells at auction for £7100

A 15th century bishop’s ring found by a metal detectorist near Beverley Minster in Yorkshire sparked a bidding battle at auction this week.

Adam Day, an HGV driver from East Hull, found the ring in a farmer’s field near the minster, and he was on hand to watch the battle to own his medieval treasure unfold.

He travelled to Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbyshire, where the ring was auctioned off, and saw the hammer fall at £7,100, having had a guide price of £8-10k. The ring sold to a private UK buyer.

Adam displays the ring just after his big find
Photo: Adam Day

Mr Day, whose find has made headlines all over the world, appearing on more than 65 media websites, said: “I will be sharing the proceeds from the sale with two of my metal detecting friends and the farmer who owns the land where the ring was found.

 “I was shaking when I found it. It was quite close to the surface, not buried deep in the ground. It is engraved with St George and St Catherine and features floral emblems.

“Beverley Minster is nearby and it’s likely the ring belonged to a priest from there. It dates back to between 1450-1550.”

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “I am delighted for Adam. What Englishman wouldn’t want to own a 15th century ring featuring St George, the Patron Saint of England?

“It is a superb example of the craftsmanship of the time. Only high-ranking figures such as bishops or nobility would have been able to afford a ring of such high quality featuring fine decorative engraving and faceting.

“It may well have belonged to a bishop from Beverley Minster and would have been commissioned. It was an amazing find and I am delighted to see the ring go to a new home today.”

Beverley Minster in Beverley, East Riding, is one of the largest parish churches in the UK. It is bigger than one third of all English cathedrals and regarded as a gothic masterpiece.

“You can see Beverley Minster from the field where I found the ring,” said Mr Day, who took up metal detecting three years ago. He sought the farmer’s permission before exploring the land with his friend, fellow metal detectorist Pete Birkett.

“I have had some interesting finds before including a Bronze age flat axe and Celtic brooch but this is the best one yet,” said Mr Day.

The ring was sold on January 23 at Hansons Auctioneers, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire.

Main ring photos: Hansons

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