Iron Age Strap Junction by Unknown Artist

Discovered by a metal detectorist in a field near Dunbar, this striking piece of Iron Age metalwork has survived in excellent condition.

Details

Medium:
Iron and enamel
Dimensions:
6.3 x 6.2 x 1.3 cm, 0.1kg
Art Fund grant:
£2,750 ( Total: £5,500)
Acquired in:
2014
Vendor:
Queen's & Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer

Crafted in the 'La Tène' style typical of early Celtic art, this cruciform strap junction is distinguished by the rare survival of red and yellow enamel inlaid in a chequerboard pattern. Horses were some of the most highly valued possessions in Iron Age Britain, and carts, traps and chariots were among the most elaborately decorated objects crafted during that period. Strap junctions were essential pieces of chariot gear, used to fasten harness straps, and the burial of this exceptional example was most likely performed as an offering.

Provenance

Found by a metal detectorist in East Lothian

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