Listen to the sound of the Iron Age. Here is musician John Kenny playing a replica of the Deskford carnyx, an Iron Age war trumpet that dates from 80-200AD. The original was found in Scotland and is the only one known in Britain – until recently.

A miniature one was found in Surrey by a metal detectorist. Most people would think it should have been donated to a museum yet it has just been sold at auction for a modest £3,400, hardly a king’s ransom after commission and sharing with the landowner.

How did this happen? How could a detectorist with 30 years of experience ignore the obvious fact that it belonged in a museum and should have been donated? And what of the landowner? Who advised him in the matter? Would he have acted differently if he had been asked?


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting