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Creator Nationality: European; Celtic
Creator Name-CRT: Celtic
Title: Sword with Three Mounts
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 0
Creation End Date: 0
Creation Date: mid-1st century B.C.
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Metalwork-Bronze
Materials and Techniques: Iron blade, copper alloy hilt and scabbard
Dimensions: L. 19 3/4 in. (50 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1999.94a-d
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1999
This magnificent anthropomorphic Celtic sword is also one of the best preserved. The beautifully modeled head that terminates the hilt is one of the finest surviving images of a Celtic warrior. The human form of the hilt-appearing as a geometric reduction of a classical warrior-must have been intended to enhance the power of the owner and to bear a talismanic significance. The face is emphatically articulated with large almond eyes, and the head with omega-shaped and finely drawn hair.
Although the scabbard has become amalgamated to the iron blade, affecting parts of the surface, its ornamentation and the exquisitely worked hilt make the whole an evocative statement about the technical ability of the Celts, the powerful conquerors of ancient Europe. The sword is of a type associated with the La Tène culture, named after the important Celtic site on Lake Neuchâtel in present-day Switzerland and eastern France. Other related anthropomorphic swords from diverse finds in France, Ireland, and the British Isles demonstrate the expansion of the Celts across Europe. As the first such example in the Museum's collection, the sword is a superb and singular example that richly adds to a select group of Celtic works of art.
AMICA ID: MMA_.1999.94a-d
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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