Item number: 2730
An Important British Palaeolithic Flint Ficron
From the Overlying London Clay Gravels at Manor Park, London
Discovered on 28th July 1914
Ex English Private Collection, Passed by Descent
With a variety of motivating factors, ever since their conception ancient flint tools have been coveted and prized by mankind. In the late 18th Century the pioneering Antiquarian ‘John Frere’ sent two flint hand axes to the Royal Academy in London and in an associated letter famously conveyed his radical interpretation of the finds, concluding that they had been “fabricated and used by a people who had not the use of metals”, in addition, “the situation in which these weapons were found may tempt us to refer them to a very remote period indeed, even beyond that of the present world”. A view disregarded at the time due to overwhelming conflicting religious beliefs.
During the 19th and early 20th century, a combination of further discoveries, expanding knowledge and understanding of these ancient artefact’s led to extensive collections of hand axes being formed, mainly consisting of finds from gravel pits sourced from workmen eager to supplement their income with the additional pay such discoveries opportuned.
These finds are still being studied and debated, based on much evidence it is now generally accepted that many fine implements had a significance far beyond function, a visual display of the makers knowledge and skill or as a means of conveying the owners social status or power and certainly providing conclusive proof that our ancient ancestors possessed a high degree of culture evidenced in the beautiful reoccurring hand axe forms which are today being reappraised and increasingly appreciated as art in the contemporary world, in addition to their important archaeological significance.
The ‘Ficron’, is widely considered to be the finest and most desirable of all the British Palaeolithic hand axe forms, this rare, truly exceptional example displays exquisite workmanship of the absolute finest quality and has acquired the most beautiful patina from this most impressive and sought after place of discovery in the British capital City of London.
Discovered at Manor Park, on 28th July 1914 and marked accordingly, the pieces outstanding provenance is detailed even further on an adhering collection label which reads, ‘Palaeolithic Flint axe, Manor Park about 15ft down in gravel upon London clay’. This amazing ficron was discovered along with a number of other outstanding prehistoric tools in an old chest on the point of collapse where they had remained practically untouched, sitting in the same spot in the same room, not seeing the light of day for around one hundred years!
Length: 15cm, Width: 7.5cm (At widest point)