Rare British Celtic Bronze Warrior Statuette
A beautifully preserved Celtic bronze statuette depicting a warrior. He wears a helmet with shallow brim, deep cheek-guards and knop crest, but is otherwise nude, with his hair hanging down his neck in strands. His right forearm is raised with the hand extended, whilst his left arm is slightly bent at the elbow; he stands with his left knee slightly bent, with his weight on the right leg. Below his feet there are two pegs, which are embedded in a matrix of base metal (possibly lead). The details of the statuette have been finely modelled, and a deeply attractive olive-green patination has developed over the millennia.
Circa 2nd - 1st Century BCProvenance:
Found Lincolnshire, UK; 1970-1980.Condition:
Extremely rare and important statuette which has been preserved in excellent condition, complete and intact. There is just one tiny hole eroded in his back but the metal is otherwise in excellent condition.
The workmanship of the figurine, with its naturalistic stance and proportions, indicates that the sculptor was either a Roman or had been trained in the Graeco-Roman tradition. Native figurines tend to be exaggerated physically and more crudely rendered by comparison. The figurine perpetuates the image of the native British warrior as fighting naked, relying on the tribal gods for protection. The helmet worn by the warrior appears to be a variant of the Montefortino Type A, which had been adopted by the Roman Republican army by the 2nd century BC, and remained in use for several centuries. The helmet’s origins are disputed, but most observers place it among the Gauls or Etruscans.
To discover more about Celtic culture, please visit our relevant blog post: Bronze Age Britain.
See Pitts, L.F. M. Roman Bronze Figurines of the Catuvellauni and Trinovantes, BAR British Series 60, Oxford, 1979; Travis, H. & J. Roman Helmets, Stroud, 2014, p.51.87