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Irish Celtic - Ultimate La Tene Style - Enamelled Double Roundel

Antiquities - Celtic Iron Age

LOT 581

GBP (£) 17,500 - 22,500
EUR (€) 19,880 - 25,560
USD ($) 24,450 - 31,430
Additional Fees*

Sold for (Inc. premium): £24,150


Circa 7th century AD. A superb and excessively rare pair of Irish Celtic enamelled flat toroid roundels in the 'Ultimate La Tène' style together with a plain separating disc; each roundel ornamented on the exposed face with a similar (but not identical) series of eight and six alternating triskeles and trumpet-spirals in a triple spiral, eight/six spot roundel form respectively, executed with wondrous accuracy; the triskeles, spirals and reversing curves reserved against a rich, red enamel ground; the plain border rim of each disc pierced with six small equidistant fixing holes, corresponding with each other and with those on the central plain disc; the reverse of each outer roundel and both sides of the separating disc marked at one fixing hole position to facilitate symmetrical assembly of the whole unit; the central apertures of the outer roundels of different sizes (15mm to one and 21mm to the other), with the central plain separating disc unperforated; the reverse of each roundel also showing the three and four respectively compass perforations from which the designs were laid out. 56mm diameter; 35.57 grams (combined weight).

Very fine, with much of the enamel surviving; some minor distortions. Offered with XRF Test Certificate for all three parts.

Found Norfolk (recorded at Norwich Castle Museum), 2007.

This pair of discs has strong affinity with the Donore Discs, found Ireland (although at 131mm, these are larger and not enamelled) and especially in that the designs for each disc, although obviously a pair, do not match - Muller, p. 264; also cf. Meehan (for many examples of spiral patterns from Celtic art of all eras); cf Ryan; cf. Coffey.

As with the Donore Discs, the exact purpose of this item remains uncertain. It is clear that the three elements were assembled together and united by small pins or stitching through the small perimeter piercings. The supposition, in view of the sheer quality of the roundels, must be that this assembly would have in turn been affixed to an object of special importance. The assembly is quite delicate and the central separating disc suggests it being attached to fabric, such as a clerical stole, for example. The design also has affinities with the Tara Brooch and the Book of Lindisfarne (c. 710 AD). Lindisfarne Abbey was founded in 635 AD.

Friday 19th March 2010 at The Swedenborg Hall Antiquities & Coins

TimeLine Auctions Ltd arranges printed catalogue rostrum Auctions, eAuctions and Timed Auctions where we offer antiquities, ancient artefacts / artifacts, antiques, collectibles, coins, medals and books for public sale.

Lot No. 581

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Auction Venue:
20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH

Viewing from noon Monday 19th February 2018
Champagne Reception: 5.30 - 9pm
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Friday 19th March 2010 at The Swedenborg Hall Antiquities & Coins

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