Bronze Age Celtic Spectacle Fastener


A European Bronze Age spectacle fastener/pendant formed from a single bronze wire diminishing in thickness, which has been tightly coiled at each end into two large spirals. The spirals are connected by a loop at the centre for suspension, and have been expertly crafted to sit opposite one another. This type of fastener was widely distributed from the Balkans to Greece and Italy.

Date: Circa 1200-800 BC
Provenance: Winstanley collection, early 20th century. Ex Alex Szolin Ancient Art, UK, acquired into Dr D.G. collection, 1990s-2019.
Condition: Fine condition, green patination to the surface.


SKU: LD-368 Category: Tags: ,

Burial customs and grave goods were of great importance across Bronze Age Europe. It is in graves that many of the most impressive and interesting Bronze Age items have been found, as the Bronze Age saw a rise in individual graves which they filled with precious items. Bronze jewels, such as pins, bracelets, rings and necklaces were decorated with spiral motifs. The spiral is a dynamic symbol, indicating endless movement and was in use from the Neolithic period onwards. The motif was common across cultures and time periods, especially in central Europe and Aegean. Bronze craftsmen continued to use the pattern during the Bronze Age, though more flamboyant and flatter spiral patterns were favoured. The simple design of two spirals connected in an ‘s’ shape or as spectacles appeared during the Early Bronze Age and continued into the Late Bronze Age.

To discover more about spirals in Celtic culture, please visit our relevant blog post: The Symbolism of the Spiral in Celtic Imagery.

Weight 21.1 g
Dimensions L 6.5 x H 3.6 cm



Time Period

Reference: For a similar item,The British Museum, item 1856,1226.716 or The British Museum, item 1814,0704.251

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