Don’t worry, Buskers, there’s money in music.
A piano in Shropshire has been found to store the largest hoard of gold sovereigns in Britain. 913 gold sovereigns and half sovereigns dating from 1847 to 1915, from the reigns of Queen Victoria, Edward VII and George V have been discovered.
Peter Reavill, the British Museums finds liason officer for the region, has estimated that the treasure will be worth ‘hundreds of thousands of pounds’ once it gets officially valued. A reward will go to the piano tuner who found the stash, and Bishops Castle Community College who owned the piano, however the sovereigns has been declared treasure, and therefore belongs to the Crown. After a lot of searching, they have ‘drawn a blank’ in who the original owner of the riches was, or why they had such a need to hide them. After more than 50 claims of ownership, all proven to be inadequate, the money remains a mystery.
The tuner who discovered it, Martin Backhouse, initially saw the bags containing the coins and thought they contained nothing but moth repellent. The owners of the piano, who donated it to the college were no more informed, but hoped that the reward the school will get will go towards the education for the children.
The Treasure Act of 1996 defines treasure in a number of ways, including if it is more than 300 years old, if it is a prehistoric item, or if it has been deliberately concealed by its owner.
Economic students might want to think about how money is distributed when it is found, and how old currency is defined and evaluated. History and Law students might want to look at treasure through the ages, and the different ways in which our political and social systems have delegated it. Music students may want to consider how the coin purses may have affected the sound of the stand up piano.
However this mystery concludes, one question remains: Which instrument will be next? Loot in the flute? Dough in the Oboe?