No Ordinary Loss

The first newspapers were little more than lists of overseas events, but decline of wealthy patronage led publishers to seek alternative funding, so began to carry ads. The first of these were for books, as publishers were generally also booksellers, and sometimes perfumes and medicines for the same reason. By the 18th century, much of their income was from lost, stolen or strayed ads, but this one rather stands out. It is from The Gazette, of London 4 May 1685 following the coronation of James II:

“Lost at their Majesties coronation the button [knob] of his Majesty’s sceptre, set about with 24 small diamonds, three rubies and 3 emeralds; a pendant pearl from his Majesty’s gown about nine carats of 30 common grains, and about sixteen great links of a gold chain. Whoever gives notice thereof to the officers of her Majesies Jewel house shall be well rewarded.”

Wonder if they ever saw them again?

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