Saturday 24 February 2018

Hunt finally over for missing shield

Barry Duggan

A BRONZE Age shield that went missing in England during the 19th Century has been found again in an Irish museum.

However, the 3,000-year-old 'Molesey Shield' will remain at the Hunt Museum in Limerick, where it is one of the most popular attractions.

Two historians, Paul Gossage and Steven Baker, from Surrey, set about tracing the copper alloy shield seven years ago and eventually made the connection with the Hunt Museum.

It was first found in 1864 on the bed of the Thames River but later disappeared.

Listed as part of the collection from John and Gertrude Hunt, the Hunt Museum's description states the "find spot of the shield is unknown but it may have come from Co Antrim".

Director of the Hunt Museum, Hugh Maguire, confirmed to the Irish Independent that it received correspondence in recent months about the true origins of the shield.

"We invite all to come and see it here in Limerick. This is where the shield will be staying," he said.

Before coming into the Hunt's possession, the shield was owned by Captain George Pitt Rivers in Dorset, England, and his ancestors. It was displayed in various locations across England between 1864 and 1868 before it became untraceable.

The circular shield is 65cm in diameter and has a dome-shaped boss at the centre to allow a warrior's hand hold it. It is very thin and made of bronze. There are six holes in it, but it has not been established if they were caused during battle.

Irish Independent

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