Childeric’s tomb was discovered in 1653 and contained spectacular gold artifacts, including over 300 beautiful gold and garnet cloisonné bees, as well as a gold and garnet sword hilt.
The find was documented and illustrated by J.J. Chifflet in 1665. The treasure was passed down through the ages, first to Louis XIV, and then to to Napoleon. Finally, Childeric’s hoard had been stored in a back room in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, where it had remained, largely forgotten about. In 1831 thieves broke into the library and stole Childeric’s treasure, along with hundreds of pounds of gold artifacts.
Most of the treasure was eventually recovered, but a significant portion had been melted down, including almost everything from Childeric’s tomb. In the end, all that was left were Childeric’s two little gold honeybees.