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The Story of the Hannikoru

The ancestor of the Hanni family, proprietor of a rote farm Matti Tuomaanpoika Hanni, was born approximately in 1668 and died on the 11 th of October 1714. On that day a Cossack patrol arrived to the village of Hanni in the Ylikannus chapel parish and tortured and killed the 46-year old Matti Tuomaanpoika Hanni.

The Swedish-Finnish army lost the battle of Poltava in 1709, which turned out to be the turning point of the Great Northern War (1700-1721). The battle of Poltava was followed by a period of the Russian Cossacks' robbery excursions, called the Greater Wrath. Because of the restless times Matti Tuomaanpoika had already earlier hidden noticeable amounts of two, four and eight mark silver coins and a renaissance period gold plated silver belt decorated with stones - all divided in two leather purses - in the meadow close to his house. The other purse was meant for the 18-year old first-born son Iisakki and the other for the 15-year old Matti. The renaissance belt was made most likely by the goldsmith Hartwig Welligh before the year 1640.

In addition to murdering Matti Tuomaanpoika, the Russians also took the young Matti Matinpoika as a prisoner. Years later he managed to escape the prisonhood. Once Matti Matinpoika returned home he learned that his brother Iisakki had fetched the silver coins and the renaissance belt hidden by his father in the meadow. Iisakki Matinpoika admitted that he had done so but made it clear that he had only taken his own half. This caused a dispute between the two brothers, which has been recorded to the register of the Suur-Lohtaja municipal court.

The faith of Matti Matinpoika's share of the inheritance was solved nearly 300 years later when accomplished prospector discovered tens of silver coins and parts of a renaissance belt in Hanninkylä, in a forest cutting area near the meadow where Matti Tuomaanpoika Hanni had buried them.

Only very few renaissance belts in such good condition have been found in Finland. Due to the uniqueness of the discovery, the parts of the renaissance belt found were held in the collections of the National Museum of Finland.

After receiving a request from the Antti and Viljami Isohanni heritage group, the National Board of Antiquities granted a permission to use the belt as a model for a jewellery collection. Hannikoru Collection was designed in the Institute of Design of the Lahti University of Applied Sciences. The Hannikoru Collection comprises of a necklace, brooch, earrings, tiepin, bracelet and a ring.

Additional information at: www.hanni.fi