Saturday, 9 October 2010

Crosby Garrett helmet: farmer comments

The Carlisle press has revealed the identity of the farmer associated with the so-called Crosby Garrett helmet (Thom Kennedy, "Fight on to keep Crosby Garrett Roman helmet in Britain", News and Star, October 9, 2010).
The farmer on whose land the helmet said he would have liked it to stay in Cumbria, but Eric Robinson remained tight lipped over whether he will receive any of the money raised from Thursday’s auction.

“It’s quite amazing [that it was worth so much],” he said. “I would have liked it to be kept in Cumbria but I can’t do anything about it.”

Mr Robinson said the man who found it had been coming to his farm for seven years and ‘hit the jackpot’ with this find.

He added: “I saw it when he found it. It looked very special, like it was pretty important.”
This raises several questions:
a. When did Eric Robinson see the fragmentary helmet? Does he remember the exact date?
b. Was Eric Robinson shown the fragments in situ? Or in bags? Or in trays? Were the pieces still covered in mud?
c. Is there a written agreement with the anonymous finder from County Durham? Why does Eric Robinson think that there is a possibility that he will not benefit from an object reported to have been found on his land?

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Mo said...

This helmet was found 10" below the surface.

I am no expert but I would have thought that when the field was ploughed it would have brought his artefact to the surface.

Given that the finder had been detecting on the farm for seven years it seems to have taken a long time for this item to be discovered.

Macrinus said...

So, it can be alleged that we have a finder making an agreement with a land-owner, who doesn't appear to know that he is the rightful owner of a non Treasure Trove object found on his land. It is he who should be calling the shots.

But then, we can further allege that the implication of his answers is that he is not in a position to call these shots - that he is the junior partner in this arrangement. This would imply that he is not the rightful owner and, therefore, not the owner of the land on which it was found. He is, however, the owner of the field in which it was said to have been found - which implies that it was found elsewhere.

If this allegation is correct, then a false provenance has been created,a PAS number obtained, further increase of the pedigree of the find by receiving BM identification (no one denies it was a real Roman helmet). The sum of all this, one can allege, has had the result of increasing its market value.

One further allegation can be made, therefore, that a fraud has been committed, on persons at the time unknown, through the sale of this falsely provenanced item at auction.

Perhaps someone locally should ask the local MP to contact the authorities to inquire whether a fraud has been committed.

David Gill said...

According to PAS the find was made in "Grassland, Heathland". See record.

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