Renovation Leads To Poorton Hoard Of Coins Worth $75,000

An English couple discovered a smashed, glazed pottery bowl with 17th-century coins under their home’s kitchen floor.

An English couple initiated a home renovation as there was a lot of work to be done to the place. In a remarkable stroke of fortune, they stumbled upon treasure right beneath their floors: a trove of 17th-century coins that comprised silver and gold shillings. Duke’s Auctioneers enlisted the collection, now known as the Poorton Hoard, and collectively sold for about $75,000 as per Smithsonian Magazine.

The home in question wherein the coins were found is a farmhouse in southern England and the owners are Robert and Betty Fooks. Their Poorton Farm is a 17th century cottage and they purchased it in 2019. They removed the concrete floor in their kitchen during their extensive renovation, leading to their discovery. 

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A modern story of hidden treasures and luck

Duke’s Auctioneers chronicled that the Fooks removed the modern concrete floor during their extensive renovation. They dug the floor down by nearly two feet to provide greater height to the downstairs part of the property.

“The owner found the coins while digging with a pickaxe by torchlight one late evening in October,” the auction house stated.

The Poorton hoard of 17th-century coins were found in a smashed, glazed pottery bowl
The Poorton hoard of 17th-century coins were found in a smashed, glazed pottery bowl/Photo from Duke’s Auctioneers

The 17th-century coins were found in a glazed pottery bowl that was smashed either during digging or before. Duke’s said the British Museum obtained them for identification and cleaning. “They feel the coins were deposited on one occasion around 1642-4,” the website went on.

Duke’s said the Poorton hoard of 17th-century coins was a modern story of lost fortunes, hidden treasures, and luck.

Poorton hoard coins exceed pre-estimates

Duke’s Auctioneers said on their website the 17th-century coins had a vast variety that includes James I and Charles I gold coins, silver half crowns, shillings, and sixpences. The hoard contains Elizabeth I, Phillip, and Mary silver shillings and sixpences as well.

Media sources like Business Insider and Smithsonian Magazine said the Poorton hoard expected to garner £35,000, or $43,600. However, the total hammer prices of the 17th-century coins was worth more than what was believed. The discovery yielded £60,740 or about $75,900, exceeding its pre-estimated total price.

Charles I coins obtained the highest bids among the auction lot, where the hammer price reached £5,000 or $6,298.82. 

Coins buried to secure a landowner’s wealth

Betty said that since their house was 400 years old, there was a lot of work done to it. She talked about taking the floors and ceilings out, deciding to lower the ground floor to give them more ceiling height.

Smithsonian’s report disclosed that her husband, Robert, called to say they’ve found something. “If we hadn’t lowered the floor, they would still be hidden there,” she explained. “I presume the person intended to retrieve them but never got the chance.”

The Poorton hoard had about 1,000 coins that went under the hammer. BBC revealed the British Museum guessed they were deposited early in the English Civil War by a landowner who tried to keep their wealth safe.

The complete auction listings may be viewed here.

Banner photo via Instagram @dukesauctioneers.

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