Celtic Iron Age Silver Bird Appliques

A selection of Celtic Iron-Age silver appliques in the form of a stylised bird, resembling ducks. Each feature a domed head with a cylindrical beak attached. Their thin necks lead to thin rectangular bodies ending with tails. Each applique displays unique decorations and carvings across the bodies, varying from linear motives to dotted lines and circular patterns. The bottom is smooth with slightly slanting sides, which would have originally been used to attach to garments and jewels to further enrich.


Date: 1st century BC - 1st century AD
Provenance: Acquired in the 1990s. Ex Cambridgeshire, UK, collection.
Condition: Excellent condition, well polished.
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SKU: AG-28 Category: Tag:

Birds were potent symbols in Celtic mythology. Archaeologically however, only a limited number were represented, including ducks, doves, ravens and crows. As an animal that ventured between water and sky, they were creatures associated with solar imagery and thus with life-giving powers and regeneration. For birds that migrate, this pattern of leaving, only confirmed the Celtic belief that the soul was reborn. Celtic folklore suggests that it was believed that the soul passed from one body to another, from animal to bird.

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