La Tène/Pre-Christian - Page 1
Some simple spirals
Made from bronze, with sheets of embossed
gold and inlaid with iron and enamel, this ceremonial helmet was found in
a princess's burial site in Germany. It dates from the 4th century BC and
although there is a strong Italian influence in its design, it carries many
of the spiral patterns so popular in Celtic art. It is thought by
some that these spirals may have been solar symbols.
shapes are from the Book of Kells
|Again from the 4th century BC, this wine
flagon shows evidence of being copied from similar vessels from Greece and
is inlaid with red enamel and coral.
The base has a simple interlaced motif that probably replicates the basket
weaving of the period. The handle and lid are decorated in zoomorphics -
meaning based on the forms of animals and birds. The artists got good
mileage from these stylised animal forms, as they were still popular by
the time of the great illuminated manuscripts such as the Book of Kells,
over 1000 years later.
Between the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD, many
of these beautifully engraved mirrors were produced in Britain, this one
is from Desborough in Northamptonshire. They were made of bronze and
decorated with basketry and complex spirals, for which a compass in believed to
have been used, and many were inlaid with red enamel and coral.
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