The Jewel was saved for the nation as the result of a public appeal and the Art Fund played a vital part in its success.
The Middleham Jewel by Unknown Artist, 2nd half of 15th century
© Yorkshire Museum
- Gold & sapphire
- 6.4 x 4.8 cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £180,000 ( Total: £2,500,000; Export stopped)
- Acquired in:
- Private collection
This piece of medieval jewellery is most remarkable, partly because of its size and material but, above all, by the interest and quality of the engraving of the two scenes of the Trinity and Nativity. These would have placed it in the first rank of medieval jewellery in the fifteenth century. On the front of the Jewel is a large sapphire, a Latin inscription and an engraving of the Trinity. On the back there is a scene of the Nativity beneath which is the Lamb of God and the figures of fifteen saints on the frame. Holes on the side indicate that there may have been a metal-work frame around the Jewel possibly once decorated with pearls. There is a key which once served to lock the sliding panel by which the Jewel can be opened. This work was acquired with assistance from the Wolfson Foundation.
Found with a metal detector at Middleham, North Yorkshire by Mr E Seaton; Sotheby's, 1986; Private collection.