Billy and Charley, Lead Forgery
Billy and Charley, Lead Forgery

Billy and Charley, Lead Forgery

1860 eng

Offered by Timothy Millett Ltd.

£150 gbp
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Billy and Charley, Lead Forgery, circa 1860, a knight on horse back with chain mail and sword and legend around, rev. a bearded man with apparent horns, 72 mm, with integral loop for suspension. Very fine.


William Smith and Charles Eaton were mudlarks who searched the foreshore of the Thames for valuable objects. In 1857, noticing a decline in the number of their discoveries, they decided they could make more money by manufacturing finds which many academics of the day were only too happy to accept as genuine. A lecture at the British Archaeological Association in 1858 condemned them as forgeries and this was subsequently reported in the Athenaeum Magazine. A libel suit followed in which the eminent scholar Charles Roach Smith vouched for their authenticity. It was not until some years later that Billy and Charley's moulds were discovered and these were subsequently exhibited at the Society of Antiquaries.
Timothy Millett Ltd.

Timothy Millett Ltd.
PO Box 20851
London
SE22 0YM

+44 (0)20 8693 1111
+44 (0)7778 637898
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