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Home > Auctions > 6th September 2022 > Iron Age Celtic La TÈne Sword with Scabbard

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LOT 0344

GBP (£) 4,000 - 6,000
EUR (€) 4,780 - 7,170
USD ($) 4,870 - 7,310

Opening Bid
£3,600 (EUR 4,304; USD 4,385) (+bp*)

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Bid History: 0
LA TèNE I, 450-320 B.C.

An iron sword and scabbard with slider; the sword with lentoid-section two-edged (785 mm long) blade, parallel-sided for 530 mm then tapering gently to a broad point; campanulate lower guard, square in section with vertical incised slots to one face; square-section tang tapering to a poppy-head terminal; the broad, slender scabbard with stepped lower end, the upper edger scooped to engage with the campanulate guard of the sword, the obverse face rolled over the edges to clasp the reverse plate; the suspension elements comprising a frame of two transverse bars clasping the front and back plates connected to vertical flared straps with a stepped slider-loop to the centre, framed by two more similar bars with vertical straps forming a hollow square in which the slider-loop sits. sword: 36 3/4 in. (1.3 kg, 95 cm overall).

Acquired 1980s.
Ex Ing Peter Till collection, Vienna, Austria.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate no.11391-193065.

Cf. De Navarro, J.M., The Finds from the Site of La Tène, 1, Scabbards and the Swords Found in Them, London, 1973; Stead, I., British Iron Age Swords and Scabbards, London, 2006, item 185, for type with campanulate guard and two-part scabbard; Stead, I. et al., Iron Age and Roman Burials in Champagne, Oxford, 2006; Kieca, P. & Sobczyk, P., The Celtic Sword with Bronze Hilt Elements from Siarzewo, Niesczawa Commune, Kuyavian Pomeranian Voivodeship inŚwiątowit, LVII, 2018.

The campanulate form of hilt-guard is a fashion which appeared with the La Tène culture and remained in use into the 1st century A.D. in some areas.
The slider-loop accommodated a narrow leather baldric which allowed the scabbard to move freely along the strap and to hang comfortably at the user's hip.