Who stashed gold inside a British piano? It's a mystery

Brunilde Fioravanti
Aprile 20, 2017

Piano tuner Martin Backhouse with the piano where he found a stash of gold in Ludlow Museum in England.

Mr Blackhouse, 61, of Newtown, Powys, will receive a windfall of more than £100,000 after a coroner's court declared today that he was entitled to half the hoard's value under treasure laws.

British officials say they've been unable to trace the rightful heirs to a trove of gold coins found stashed inside a piano and worth a "life-changing" amount of money. But a couple who owned the piano for three decades before donating it to their local school will likely miss out.

At an inquest into the discovery, coroner John Ellery ruled that the gold coins were treasure but said: "We simply do not know how they came to be concealed". Under the keyboard - neatly stacked in hand-stitched packages and pouches - were 913 gold sovereigns and half-sovereigns minted in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The instrument previously belonged to Graham and Meg Hemmings, from Saffron Walden in Essex, but they donated it to Bishop's Castle Community College in Shropshire after moving nearby in 2015.

After slitting the stitching with his penknife, he realised there was "rather a lot of gold in this".

The hoard, which weighs 6 kilograms (13 pounds), has not been formally valued.

During the hearing, Peter Reavill, from the British Museum, said one of the packets contained an old Shredded Wheat advertising card, meaning the hoard was probably "repackaged" sometime during the Great Depression era.

Mrs Hemmings said: "The sadness is, it's not a complete story".

"It's an incomplete story - but it's still an exciting story".

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE