La Tène/Pre-Christian - Page 1

The Amfreville helmet  Click to enlarge


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.

Bronze Flagon  Click to enlarge

These animals 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. 

Bronze Mirror  Click to enlarge

Complex spirals

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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