European Bronze Age Electrum Hair Ring

£ 1,100.00

A solid European Bronze Age hair ring, moulded from a single rod of electrum gold. Its tubular body has been shaped into a tight spiral, with both ends tapering into a dull point. Electrum rings of this type, known as lock-rings, have been recovered across Bronze Age Europe, with Ireland being a centre of production in the British Isles. They would have probably been used in antiquity as hair ornaments, earrings or as part of bracelets or bangles.

Date: European Bronze Age, 1500-600 BC
Provenance: Previously with The Ancient Art Shop, Windsor, UK, 1990s; formerly in the collection of Alexander Cotton, Hampshire, UK, 1970s.
Condition: Excellent condition, minor signs of ageing to the surface.

In stock

SKU: MG-221 Category: Tag:

Spirals, especially in gold, were commonly associated with the Sun in ancient European cultures, with a loose spiral representing the long days of summer and a tight spiral, the shorter days of winter. Such rings would have been placed amongst burial goods. From the early Bronze Age in Europe, burials became more individual, with the deceased laid to rest in individual, rather than communal, barrows. As a result, grave goods became more varied and personalised, including the jewellery worn by the deceased during his or her life.

Weight 9.90 g
Dimensions W 1.8 x H 1 cm



Reference: For a similar item, please see The British Museum, item number 1996,0902.18

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