September 18, 2008 'The Yorkshire Aestel' belongs to a small group of only seven known aestels; the most celebrated of which is the Alfred Jewel. An aestel is a pointer designed for the reading of manuscripts and most were commissioned by Alfred the Great, famous warrior king of England and one of history’s great champions of learning, justice and civilisation. King Alfred commissioned and sent aestels to all the bishops of his kingdom to accompany a copy of a translation of Pope Gregory I's Regula Pastoralis. Curiously, despite being one of the first man-made objects specifically designed to assist with furthering knowledge, this rare object is only expected to fetch between UKP10,000-15,000 when it goes to auction – perhaps this is a reflection on our modern values, perhaps the opportunity for a treasured possession of true meaning. A gold pointer steeped in history and the very roots of hand-written monastic scholarly endeavour , and dating from the late 9th Century is surely worth much more.
Other Images from this Gallery