A substantial amount of gold was found hidden in a piano after its new owners decided to tune the upright instrument, it has been revealed.
The owners, who had been given the instrument, reported their discovery as potential legal “treasure”, and the items are being kept safe in an unknown location.
Experts said that the hoard appeared to have been deliberately hidden inside the piano, which was made by Broadwood & Sons of London. Peter Reavill, of the British Museum’s portable antiquities scheme, said: “We can’t say what it is exactly because we are trying to track down the potential true owners.
“The current owners did not know what to do but they came to the museum and laid it all out on the table. I’m an archaeologist and I’m used to dealing with treasure, but I’m more used to medieval broaches. I have never seen anything like that.” He added: “It’s a stunning assemblage of material.”
He said the objects, which were “highly unusual in nature”, were made mostly of gold and “appear to have been deliberately hidden within the last 110 years”. Experts are searching for the family of whoever put the treasure into the piano. If they are traced, they have a claim. If not, the items belong to the crown.
Investigations so far have revealed that after being made, the piano was sold to a music shop or wholesaler in Saffron Walden, Essex.
Source: The Guardian