La Tène Fibula

La Tène-style fibula (safety pin-like brooch).

Torc from Vix Grave

Torc from the Vix Grave in northern Burgundy, France; 480 BC.

Torc Terminal with Triskelion and Spirals

Triskelion and spirals on a Galician torc terminal (Museu do Castro de Santa Tegra).

The Great Torc from Snettisham

The Great Snettisham Torc is constructed from just over a kilogram of gold mixed with silver. It is made from sixty-four threads. Each thread was 1.9 mm wide. Eight threads were twisted together at a time to make eight separate ropes of metal. These were then twisted around each other to make the final torc. The ends of the torc were cast in moulds. The hollow ends were then welded onto the ropes. The torc was found when the field at Ken Hill, Snettisham was ploughed in 1950. Other hoards were found in the same field in 1948 and 1990. The torc was buried tied together with a complete bracelet by another torc. A coin found in caught in the ropes of the Great Torc suggests the hoard was buried around 75 BC.


Staffordshire Dragonesque Brooch

Bronze dragonesque brooch discovered at Ilam, Staffordshire. Unusual for this type of artefact in that it lacks enamel decoration. c. AD 75-175.

Another Dragonesque Brooch

Dragonesque Brooch, 1st century; Provincial Roman, probably made in Britain; Bronze with champlevé enamel.

Dragonesque Brooch

A Romano-British dragonesque-style brooch; first or second century A.D. Bronze with champlevé enamel inserts.

Tara Brooch

The Tara Brooch is a Celtic brooch dating to circa AD 700 and perhaps the most impressive of the over fifty elaborate ancient Irish brooches yet found. It was discovered in 1850 and rapidly recognised as one of the most important works of early Christian Irish Insular art; it is now displayed in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.
Rear view of the Tara Brooch. The seven-inch long pseudo-penannular brooch is composed primarily of silver-gilt and is embellished with intricate abstract decoration including interlace on both front and back. It was made in many pieces, with much of the decoration on small “trays” or panels which were then fixed into place. When it was found only one panel of decoration was missing, but several more have now disappeared, apparently before 1872, when it entered the collection of the Royal Irish Academy.