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UB1301

A Celtic Bronze Terret Ring with Animal Figures, ca 2nd - 1st century BC

This charming bronze terret ring was used as a guide through which the reins pass and might have been used on a war chariot.  Cast as one piece, consists of the main loop sitting atop an extended mounting pin.  The loop is decorated with two stylized animal heads seen coming together from protruding trefoil leaf collars on either side.  The animals face each other, each have protruding eyes and ears with incised details simulating fur on the face and head, they are seen coming together holding a wheel at the center of their mouths.  This wheel may represent the solar system, but it may also have represented the war chariot and the Celtic war cult. This example is a powerful Celtic symbol and a rare functional Celtic work of art.

These Celtic cultures were full of visual messages.  They used human, animal and grotesque heads to decorate equipment and weapons not just for ornamentation; the symbols also denoted status, lineage and power and had apotropaic and protective qualities. 

Condition: Good dark brown patina with red highlights, with minor deterioration loss at the top of the piece on one side of the animal's snout.  Otherwise intact and in very good condition overall.

Dimensions:  height 4 inches inches (10.16 centimeters), width 2.25 inches (5.7 centimeters)

Provenance:   Found in the UK, from a private English collection, thereafter in a private Maryland, USA collection.

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