The Didcot Iron Age Mirror
In May this year we reported that the Iron Age Didcot Mirror (discovered near Didcot in southern England by a metal detectorist) had been sold to an anonymous overseas buyer. Due to its historical importance however Culture Minister and Wantage MP Ed Vaizey temporarily blocked its export to see if a buyer could be found in the UK. Vaizey was reported as saying, “The Didcot Mirror is a beautiful object dating from the Iron Age and would be a tremendous addition to any one of our many outstanding national, regional and local museums. I hope the export bar I’ve placed allows time for a UK buyer to come forward and secure it for the nation.”
We learn today that Oxfordshire County Council’s Museums Service has been successful in its appeal to raise £33,000 to purchase this rare bronze Iron Age mirror. They report that –
The mirror, which dates from the 1st century BC, is decorated with a highly unusual and beautiful curvilinear La Tène style pattern. These particular mirrors are unique to Britain and only 18 complete ones are known to exist. The only one to have been found in Oxfordshire, the mirror was discovered near Didcot some years ago, by a metal detector user and was recently sold to an anonymous bidder and would have been exported had the appeal not reached its target.
Hours to spare
The Friends of the Oxfordshire Museum had until September 12 to raise the local funds needed to keep the mirror in the country and to put it on display in Oxfordshire. The target was therefore met with only hours to spare. The Appeal, launched by the Friends of the Museum, remains open to receive further donations to contribute towards the costs of conserving and displaying the Mirror and undertaking further research which aims to reveal more of its hidden story.
Full Oxfordshire County Council’s Museums Service press release here.