What will happen to your collection

Steve RC
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A lot of collections contain pre PAS finds from the days when recording an item with a museum was at best an exercise in patronisation often with a telling off and the ever present question of "where did you find it" to "we dont record detector found items".

Many museums still harbour anti detecting sentiments amongst their staff and though relations and attitudes have changed somewhat it remains far from perfect.

As has been said the best way is to photograph everything no matter how seemingly common it might seem. That will save inheritors any problems when selling items or collections via an auction house. Older collections might contain items currently definable as Treasure ( or will be after the current Treasure Act Review is sorted - the NCMD will be updating its membership onthe progress of that i am sure) from being captured as undeclared Treasure. With a dateable photograph it can be proved that the item was in their possession before any defintions changes.

It is worth noting that it is probable that pre Treasure Act items captured in this way which do not benefit from securely datable paperwork or photos, if declared as Treasure by the coroner, the possessor will only be entitled to a 50% award should a museum wish to purchase it. That is because in most cases there will be no known owner so museums will see these items as cheaper purchases.

Clearly it is worth putting in a bit of time to ensure that if you do leave a collection of detecting or purchased finds to your realtives that you ensure that they do not have unforseen problems should they decide to sell them or skip them.
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TheFenTiger
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Another angle which has not been mentioned is landowners. Should they not be offered their finds back to them? I appreciate that I am to an extent being facetious and it would probably not be practical with change of land ownership and such but technically the finds still belong to them and there is never usually any paperwork to say ownership has been passed on to the finder.

Also there is the issue of the value of collections when it comes to probate. Having a few £1000s worth of coins or artefacts is not out of the way for some collections.
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Charles Abbeyville
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Steve RC wrote: Mon Dec 06, 2021 9:50 am A lot of collections contain pre PAS finds from the days when recording an item with a museum was at best an exercise in patronisation often with a telling off and the ever present question of "where did you find it" to "we dont record detector found items".

Many museums still harbour anti detecting sentiments amongst their staff and though relations and attitudes have changed somewhat it remains far from perfect.

As has been said the best way is to photograph everything no matter how seemingly common it might seem. That will save inheritors any problems when selling items or collections via an auction house. Older collections might contain items currently definable as Treasure ( or will be after the current Treasure Act Review is sorted - the NCMD will be updating its membership onthe progress of that i am sure) from being captured as undeclared Treasure. With a dateable photograph it can be proved that the item was in their possession before any defintions changes.

It is worth noting that it is probable that pre Treasure Act items captured in this way which do not benefit from securely datable paperwork or photos, if declared as Treasure by the coroner, the possessor will only be entitled to a 50% award should a museum wish to purchase it. That is because in most cases there will be no known owner so museums will see these items as cheaper purchases.

Clearly it is worth putting in a bit of time to ensure that if you do leave a collection of detecting or purchased finds to your realtives that you ensure that they do not have unforseen problems should they decide to sell them or skip them.
The problem here Steve is; even with a set of photographs to prove an item(s) did exist, the archaeologist I have in mind would say "I see the items existed and it is on record that they found their way into the museum, however, they are not here now, no one knows what happened to them, they go through so many hands here...
Secondly, I have always been wary of 'coin valuation' so easily weighted in favour of the museums. I had a valuable coin declared to the coroner and went before the court. The judge asked the representative from the museum what the coin was worth. The museum's reply was "it's worth about £50 scrap value". In the end the judge, knowing the coin was worth at least £500 insisted on knowing its intrinsic value and that museum oik simply would not answer the question.
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DaveP
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Steve RC wrote: Mon Dec 06, 2021 9:50 am
It is worth noting that it is probable that pre Treasure Act items captured in this way which do not benefit from securely datable paperwork or photos, if declared as Treasure by the coroner, the possessor will only be entitled to a 50% award should a museum wish to purchase it. That is because in most cases there will be no known owner so museums will see these items as cheaper purchases.
It would be interesting to test that as the other side is the item would then have to valued at half the amount for probate as the deceased could only own half of it. You get the feeling HMRC valuations would trump museum valuations. My guess, and it is only that, is it would be assumed to be wholly owned.
Clearly it is worth putting in a bit of time to ensure that if you do leave a collection of detecting or purchased finds to your realtives that you ensure that they do not have unforseen problems should they decide to sell them or skip them.
That's sound advice. Although unlikely, once the probate value has been set the new owners may need to pay CGT when they sell.
stanslad
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This thread is most interesting, with some great replies & information given ,
didn't realise all the palaver & hassle involved in a few bits found detecting whilst out enjoying a great hobby,
since losing Dad in the summer & sorting through his stuff, I've been thinking what's going to happen to all the finds when I'm gone, give it to a museum, although the half a dozen best bits we've already donated are languishing in a box in the cellar & never seen daylight in a cabinet, so what's the point, now & again we see a museum declare they've re-found something great when having a sort out through stored stuff, wanting publicity & praise for the object, when really they should be getting a rollicking & investigation as to why they didn't know it was there, so perhaps it's best in our cabinets where at least some people get to see it, then get a few bob for it before you go & enjoy it before it's flogged off by relatives who hardly visit but quick enough clearing your house to see what you left!
Clint :Thinking:
Pete E
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stanslad wrote: Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:05 pm ..enjoy it before it's flogged off by relatives who hardly visit but quick enough clearing your house to see what you left!
Clint :Thinking:
Clint, we must be related as I have relatives like that! :lol: :lol:
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TheFenTiger
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stanslad wrote: Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:05 pm This thread is most interesting, with some great replies & information given ,
didn't realise all the palaver & hassle involved in a few bits found detecting whilst out enjoying a great hobby,
since losing Dad in the summer & sorting through his stuff, I've been thinking what's going to happen to all the finds when I'm gone, give it to a museum, although the half a dozen best bits we've already donated are languishing in a box in the cellar & never seen daylight in a cabinet, so what's the point, now & again we see a museum declare they've re-found something great when having a sort out through stored stuff, wanting publicity & praise for the object, when really they should be getting a rollicking & investigation as to why they didn't know it was there, so perhaps it's best in our cabinets where at least some people get to see it, then get a few bob for it before you go & enjoy it before it's flogged off by relatives who hardly visit but quick enough clearing your house to see what you left!
Clint :Thinking:
I see this argument a lot. Why should it go to a museum if it is just going to sit in a cellar? However, museums have to be dynamic to keep getting people back through the door. That is why they frequently hold different themed exhibitions or re-arrange collections over a number of months / years so they have to have a range of items to potentially display. If they didn't people would only go a couple of times.

The other aspect of being in a museum collection is items can be studied by academics as long as they know they are there. I find it interesting that the cosmetic grinders took until the 1980s to be fully identified and it was the use of museum collections that helped with that research and enabled the very good identification guide to be produced. The PAS database kind of helps with that now but that is only as good as the information and photos. If someone wants to look at something more closely, they have no access to it.

The other point about it just sitting in a museum basement is, at the moment your* collection just sits in boxes / ice cream tubs / draws and is never looked at and isn't really appreciated, only you know what it is you are looking at and what it is worth. From the couple of people I know who have died, the shiny stuff either gets taken to the jewellers or antique centre where a low value cash sum is offered or to auction and the "junk" chucked away.

*used as a general you and not anyone specific
Dave
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DaveP
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Of course, you may not get a choice. Article in Treasure Hunting 2017

"My 70-Year Love Affair - Chris Rudd
In September I’m getting divorced. I’m
ending my lifelong marriage to ancient
coins and artefacts.
"
stanslad
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TheFenTiger wrote: Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:51 pm I see this argument a lot. Why should it go to a museum if it is just going to sit in a cellar? However, museums have to be dynamic to keep getting people back through the door. That is why they frequently hold different themed exhibitions or re-arrange collections over a number of months / years so they have to have a range of items to potentially display. If they didn't people would only go a couple of times.

The other aspect of being in a museum collection is items can be studied by academics as long as they know they are there. I find it interesting that the cosmetic grinders took until the 1980s to be fully identified and it was the use of museum collections that helped with that research and enabled the very good identification guide to be produced. The PAS database kind of helps with that now but that is only as good as the information and photos. If someone wants to look at something more closely, they have no access to it.

The other point about it just sitting in a museum basement is, at the moment your* collection just sits in boxes / ice cream tubs / draws and is never looked at and isn't really appreciated, only you know what it is you are looking at and what it is worth. From the couple of people I know who have died, the shiny stuff either gets taken to the jewellers or antique centre where a low value cash sum is offered or to auction and the "junk" chucked away.

*used as a general you and not anyone specific
Great points there Dave,
I wish my local museums would change it around a bit & show more older excavated stuff.
Clint :thumbsup:
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Oxgirl
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I have a flip flop view on this.

On one hand I know someone who found a ring that was acquired by the British Museum. Ten years on and it has never been displayed. That annoys me. They have so much stuff they don’t even know what they have. And local museums don’t want/ can’t deal with donations in most cases. Well not unless they are valuable then somehow attitudes can change ;)

Similarly things that aren’t recorded feels wrong. As does piles of finds that aren’t catalogued in any way. They become things devoid of place and attached history. Not recording anything is disrespectfully to the find in my view. Whilst I’m a passionate advocate of PAS I can understand not wanting to record with them, but that doesn’t excuse not recording stuff for yourself. At least for the good stuff.

So I see both sides of the arguments. I don’t think museums are the answer to everything. Displays and sharing with the local community can be done in lots of ways too. Why not donate a display to the local pub, village shop or village hall instead? Guess that’s just as problematic though isn’t it :?

In the end all I’ve done is organise things. I have a set of coin drawers with each item properly catalogued. My artefacts are organised too. Maybe I should do more, we should all do more, to make it easier for our families when we die. Just give them less to have to deal with.

Well it’s that or we stop digging up stuff and I don’t like that option :D
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Oxgirl
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stanslad wrote: Mon Dec 06, 2021 2:05 pm although the half a dozen best bits we've already donated are languishing in a box in the cellar & never seen daylight in a cabinet, so what's the point, now & again we see a museum declare they've re-found something great when having a sort out through stored stuff, wanting publicity & praise for the object, when really they should be getting a rollicking & investigation as to why they didn't know it was there, so perhaps it's best in our cabinets where at least some people get to see it, then get a few bob for it before you go & enjoy it before it's flogged off by relatives who hardly visit but quick enough clearing your house to see what you left!
Clint :Thinking:
I have a lot of sympathy for those views Clint :clapping:
Yes I really don’t like Roman coins, I’m not joking
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Charles Abbeyville
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This thread keeps getting expanded in a very interesting way and has sparked off more thoughts (or rants).

Value: Yes some of our collections may only be worth a quid or two but some!!!!!!!! Let's choose a period, say Saxon. If you are a metal detectorist on a good Saxon site and you not only found Saxon but bought coins in to add to your collection that could easily run into thousands and in some cases over one hundred or two hundred thousand (oh yes it can). And don't look at me, I certainly do not move in such rarefied atmospheres!

Just because your collection is only worth a quid or two doesn't mean it is not of significant historical value either.

As for things hidden away in boxes in a museum. Let's be reasonable, no museum can display everything but as long as it has been properly catalogued it is there for you to study should you wish. E.g. you may write a book one day and need to see the actual coins for mint marks, die varieties etc and there they will be, maybe even in a margarine tub! Of course, as we are seeing, the chances of them still being there is a lottery!

I would venture to suggest that every museum has to have a web site that shows a photo of every single item it has AND IT IS FREE TO VIEW online!

It would also be very nice if, when they have completed a dig, the general public who pay their wages has access to the published report. 'They' want to keep all that sort of information well away from the public eye don't they.

I wonder how many of you remember one particular time team programme which the archaeologists obviously controlled. There was a line of trays on some tables and as the camera scanned down them I could see a gold coin. The camera cut to the next shot which showed someone holding the tray to camera and, well whaddya know, that gold coin had vanished! Remember when Tony Robinson had a go at the archaeologists and pushed the camera towards... I think it was these same trays. He said, words to the effect "they don't want to keep seeing bones and broken pottery, this is what they want to see" and suddenly we saw an array of interesting artefacts.
Now we have oiks in rivers still finding rubbish. That archaeologist with them eh! Identifying a terret ring as a 'buckle'! I could hear detectorists and no doubt some other archaeologists screaming at their TV's from here!
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Charles Abbeyville wrote: Tue Dec 07, 2021 12:35 pm I would venture to suggest that every museum has to have a web site that shows a photo of every single item it has AND IT IS FREE TO VIEW online!
It would be really great IF that ever happens! :? :thumbsup:
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Charles Abbeyville wrote: Tue Dec 07, 2021 12:35 pm I would venture to suggest that every museum has to have a web site that shows a photo of every single item it has AND IT IS FREE TO VIEW online!
There's no good reason why this cannot be done. Ok, there might be an initial gnashing of teefs and cries of, "We can't afford it!" but, while that may be true in some cases, funding can always be found and the nation's heritage opened up to everyone. But is that what the more hidebound would actually want or would they prefer to keep everything within the confines of their own little fiefdoms?
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Mancaveman
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Reference Museums not being able to afford to take and publish photo's on line, we do it all the time and it hardly costs the earth does it? I mean, I take my own coin photo's for the PAS to use, so why don't museums publish their's ? It would be a great idea :thumbsup:
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