A post medieval silver pendant, engraved with King Charles I and his wife Queen Henrietta Maria and engraved by a medallist from the court of the King has been declared treasure today.

The pendant, dating to 17th century was found by Nicholas Davies while metal detecting in July 2020. As a treasure find, the pendant was safely deposited to Amgueddfa Cymru for identification and reporting by Sian Iles, curator of medieval and later archaeology.

This double-sided medallion shows the profile of King Charles I on one side, facing right and with the Latin inscription ‘CAROLVS. D. G. MAG. B[RI. FR.]ET. HIB. RX’ around the outer border. The reverse side depicts Queen Henrietta Maria in profile, facing left. The inscription around the border this time reads ‘HENRIETTA MARIA. D.G. M.A.G. BRITAIN. FRAN. ET. HIB. REG’.

Both portraits are in a plain frame, with a suspension loop at the top and a single knop at each side.

The name T. Rawlins is stamped beneath her bust. Thomas Rawlins was a medallist and engraver in the court of Charles I and was re-established in his post by Charles II following the Restoration.

This type of pendant was given out to supporters of the King and may also have been given out as medals to those who fought on the side of the King during the three civil wars of the 17th century.

Almost identical examples of commemorative royalist pendants such as this can be found in the collections of the British Museum and the Royal Collections Trust, also with the mark of Thomas Rawlins.

“I visited the field [in the Llansteffan area] on a particularly warm and dry July morning, which can often limit the amount of finds that you discover,” said the finder, Nicholas Davies.

“However, this time I received a confident reading on the metal detector. As I un-earthed the signal from the hole, I gently revealed a silver oval item with the striking bust of an elegant lady.

“Taking in the precious moment, I sat down holding this truly magnificent find whilst trying to imagine the story that it would tell. Who had dropped it? What connections did they have to it? How did they come about this item?”

Sian Iles, curator of Medieval and later archaeology at Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales, said: “The Civil Wars in Wales were a time of opposing loyalties between supporters of the King and Parliament. This silver badge bearing portraits of King Charles I and his Queen Henrietta would have been worn by a Royalist supporter; an outward of their loyalty to the King and his cause and evidence of Royalist sympathies in Wales”.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, leisure, culture and tourism - Councillor Hazel Evans added: “This beautiful silver pendant shines a light on Carmarthenshire’s fascinating seventeenth century history.

“The discovery of this object is another great example of how collaboration between metal detectorists, PAS Cymru and Amgueddfa Cymru can benefit communities.

“Showing the name of the engraver, it enables CofGâr to bring to life stories not just of the Stuart monarchy, but those of ordinary people with extraordinary skills who will amaze today’s audiences.”

Carmarthenshire Museum has expressed an interest in acquiring this find for its collection after it has been independently valued by via the Treasure Valuation Committee.