The accoutrements of war were made to impress, intimidate or invoke power and protection for their wearer, as witnessed by stunningly decorated helmets, shields, a brooch, sword scabbards, and the magnificent animal-headed horn known as a carnyxsounded in war and at ceremonies.
But they were made to accompany a warrior beyond Basstard - Uri vs. Emo DJ - Basstard grave, to be seen by gods not men.
The accompanying exhibition featured extensive hoards of torcs, Accidental Vinegar - Filaria - Bruce Lee Perry Iron Age symbol of power, never exclusively Celtic, which varied considerably in style, material and function.
These were among the earliest pieces of metalwork identified as Celtic art by the pioneering antiquarian scholar JO Westwood in The sixth chapter shows the use of swirling arabesque developing in Britain and Ireland in the second century BC as it declined on the Continent, epitomised in the British Museum's exquisitely engraved Desborough mirror from Iron Age Britain.
New ways of representing animals and human heads more naturalistically on domestic utensils seem to have been associated with feasting and burials, although their mysterious symbolism remains elusive. The decoding necessary to explain the complex mythology on the huge hoards of gold coins buried in a deliberately ritualised manner also remains as yet speculative.
Although Ireland never came under Roman rule, it is interesting to see the influence of the triskele-decorated enamelling that flourished in Britain in the Roman period on early twentieth century Irish Celtic Revival wooden, ceramic and enamelled vessels. Links between Scotland and Ireland can be made The Kinslayer - Biohazard / Twisted Sister / Motorhead* / Nightwish - Легенды Зарубежного Рока - Час decoration on silver items like pins, dating from the fifth to seventh centuries AD, and through the inscribed stones of the same period whose script records a diversity of connected regional Celtic languages, using Ogham and Pictish symbols.
Martin Goldberg of National Museums Scotland explores the legacy of Roman Britain, identifying a tiny late Roman silver and enamel pin found in southwestern England as the ancestor of the handpins found across Britain and Ireland, and the popular use of penannular brooches by the Romans as clothes fasteners, increasingly embellished in Ireland and Scotland as prestigious vehicles for high-status display.
The conversion to Christianity of those peoples living at the Western edge of the Christian world, united by the Latin language, played a seminal role in the establishment of the great monastic centres of Iona and Lindisfarne, centres of radically new artistic production. Portable shrines and reliquaries helped spread the word. As hereditary keepers of their ancient heritage, such families commissioned and preserved masterpieces, some now in public collections like those of the Royal Irish Academy or the national museums of Ireland or Scotland.
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