The Cheapside Hoard is a collection of mainly late 16th and early 17th century jewels, precious artefacts and loose gemstones. Buried beneath a cellar in Cheapside London, they were discovered by chance when the building, which had been erected just after the Great Fire of London, was deemed unfit in 1912 and raised to the ground.

Ann-Marie Carey and Keith Adcock researched this fascinating hoard, combining their own background in craft with digital technologies. Using craftsmanship analysis, laser scanning, CAD processes and 3D printing to create a process of reverse engineering in an attempt to discover what kind of manufacturing methods could have been used to create the jewelry, which includes brooches, pendants and delicate gemstone rings. They produced replicas of the hoard and uncovered some of the processes involved in making these artefacts.

A number of replicas were intended to be used as handling exhibits for the Museum of London's exhibition during October 2013 to April 2014 “London’s Lost Jewels; The Mystery of the Cheapside Hoard”.

This watch is part of the treasure trove found in 1912. It is known as the Ferlite watch, after the jeweler who made it around 1600. It had calendar, time keeping and alarm functions and was decorated with an elegant scrolling foliage design alongside floral motifs and a sunburst pattern. With reverse engineering, milled replicas of the dial helped them understand the whole of the watch's surprisingly advanced features. To reveal details of the watch's construction, they removed the remaining enamel on the surface from their 3D model to show what the metal component looked like, prior to being enameled. Keith Adcock, described the process as "We have effectively used new technology to capture a 'moment in time' during the watch's original making process."

 “When we received photographs of the Hoard we were fascinated with the level of detail in the jewelry. We wanted to know how such pieces were made and to understand the story behind them. Until now there had been little research into the craftsmanship involved so we feel we are making a unique contribution to the forthcoming exhibition." [Ann-Marie Carey, 2013]

Further Reading

Rediscovering the Cheapside Hoard through Digital Visualization - Ann-Marie Carey

New York Times - A Famous Cache in All Its Splendor

London's Lost Jewels: The Cheapside Hoard (Book)




Museum of London - Cheapside Hoard

Birminigham City University Research - Cheapside Hoard