A bit of Christmas sparkle

Mr E and I took our traditional pre-Christmas trip to London on Saturday. But this year, rather than do battle with the frenzied shopping crowds, we took a nice stroll through the city and went to see some historical bling.

The Cheapside Hoard is on show at the Museum of London in a small but perfectly formed exhibition. The collection was amassed in the early 17th century, but lay undiscovered until 1912, when building work revealed the hoard beneath a cellar in Cheapside. Not much is known about who it belonged to or how it came to be buried there, instead the exhibition focusses on the historical context and skill of the jewellers who worked in 17th century London, before leading you in to see the collection.

The hoard is a showstopper, displayed to give you the best possible view of each piece, particularly if you can find one of the magnifying glasses that some visitors seemed a bit too keen to hang onto. My favourites included a tiny ship on top of a hat pin and some of the tiniest cameos you’ve ever seen. Much nicer than doing battle at the shops.


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