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Early one morning recently a lad engaged in repairing the drain of the house No. 23, Via dells Stelletta, Rome, found a little shiny piece of metal, and put it in his pocket, waiting for the chance of showing it to some connoisseur. In the meanwhile, a good deal of the dirt from the drain was carted away in the direction of Porta Angelica. The lad had his piece examined by a goldsmith opposite, and he was just receiving twenty francs for it, when the head mason and owner of the house, who had heard somehow of the affair, came to stop the bargain at the right moment. Search was made immediately on the spot, and 142 gold coins were found scattered between the drain and the walls of the house. Policemen were sent after the carts ; they overtook them just outside Porta Angelica, examined the contents, and found forty-two more coins, to the great amazement of the drivers, who had no idea they were removing gold from such an unexpected mine. The treasure numbers consequently 184 gold coins, of the largest size, perfectly fresh, as if they had just been taken from the mint. The period to which they belong goes from 1450 to 1550 ; the earliest are of Pius 11., the others are of Innocent VIII., Alexander VI., Julius 11., Leo X. Hadrian VI., Clement VII., and Paul 111. Nearly one-third belongs to Clement VII., a few coins to the Viscuuntis Milan and the Wladislaws of Hungary. I am sure some were engraved by artists worthy to vie with Dontello or Benvenuto; they are of exquisite beauty. The next day Monsignor Casali, the owner, was offered 36,800 francs for the group. Of course he refused. The treasure was not concealed carefully in one single spot ; the pieces lay scattered in more than 1,000 cubic feet of dirt.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 80, 30 March 1880

Word Count

SINGULAR DISCOVERY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 80, 30 March 1880