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. The Celtic spiral is a dynamic and popular symbol, indicative of endless movement and in use from the Neolithic period (circa 5000 BC). Bronze craftsmen continued to use the pattern during the Bronze Age, though more flamboyant and flatter spiral patterns were favoured. Such spiral themed items 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.
European Bronze Age Gold Spiral Pendants
A selection of small European Bronze Age pendants moulded from gold. Each pendant features a single gold wire twisted into two delicate flat spirals with a loop in between used for suspension.
Provenance: Ex JL private collection, Surrey, UK, acquired 2000s. Previously acquired from a UK private collection, Walton-on-Thames, mid 1970s. Examined by Bonham's auction house as a collection, under Mr JL ownership. Bonham's reference number 445037/16.
Condition: Very fine condition, encrustation to the surface.