With the sheer scarcity of genuine ancient Celtic artifacts on the market, this offering is a rare opportunity to acquire a specimen that is almost never seen offered on the public market. This is a complete Celtic iron ring pommel dagger that has been offered to their gods by purposely bending and destroying an otherwise perfect weapon. It is complete and in very rare preservation, likely found in water which was a common practice for offered weapons of the Celts. Similar ancient specimens of knives and swords have been found to be dramatically bent, often folded upon itself, in an effort to possibly demonstrate devotion to a deity by purposely destroying what would have been a highly treasured and expensive personal item. This is the only ancient Celtic "sacrificed" weapon we have ever had the fortunate opportunity to acquire for sale. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for the most advanced collections!
The Celts made votive offerings to their deities, which were buried in the earth or thrown into rivers or bogs. In particular, there was a practice to offer weapons in bodies of water such as lakes, streams or rivers, or bogs. One of the most notable examples is the river Thames in southern England, where a number of items had been deposited, only to be discovered by archaeologists millennia later. Some of these, like the Battersea Shield, Wandsworth Shield and the Waterloo Helmet, would have been prestige goods that would have been labour-intensive to make and thereby probably expensive. Another example is at Llyn Cerrig Bach in Anglesey, Wales, where offerings, primarily those related to battle, were thrown into the lake from a rocky outcrop in the late first century BCE or early first century CE.
Unlike most metal artifacts sold on the market that are untreated and uncleaned, our specimens our properly cleaned, inspected and conserved in our museum conservation lab prior to being offered for sale to our clients. If ancient metal is NOT treated and stabilized correctly, IT WILL CONTINUE TO DISINTEGRATE AND CORRODE, AND COULD EVENTUALLY FALL APART INTO PIECES.
Around 2000 B.C., barbarian Celtic tribes invaded Europe. They first inhabited regions across Eastern Europe now known as Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and the Balkans. During the Bronze Age, they move westward and by the Iron Age in the 8th to 5th centuries BC, these tribes make their homes in what is now southwest Germany, eastern France and parts of Switzerland and Austria. This era is known as the Hallstatt period named after a Celtic archaeological type-site in a lakeside village in Austria. After that, in the La Tene period, western Europe becomes heavily occupied by the Celts as they invade much of Germany, France, the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), the British Islands and Ireland. After this time, Celtic tribes spread eastward again, moving into northern Italy, Bohemia, Silesia, the Balkans and even into present day Turkey with a tribe called the Galatians establishing a Celtic city called Galatia. During the 1st century BC, the Celts were at the height of their power and were the dominant ethnic group in much of Europe, even ruling over the Germanic tribes. Among the many military victories the ancient Celts can lay claim to are the sacking of the cities of Rome and Delphi.
The Celts were largely a decentralized military aristocracy made up of independent chieftains ruling various geographical regions. They were famous to fight just for the sake of fighting and often, they were employed as mercenaries of the great armies of ancient times. Along with their reputations of chivalry, courage and maniacal bravery, their more aggressive tendencies were offset by a great sensitivity to the arts and philosophy. Highly unusual at the time, the Celts viewed both men AND women with equality, holding women in high regard with their matriarchal religion.
One of the famous works the Celts were known for was their masterful works in metal-smithing. Spectacular works can be found all over Europe left behind by Celtic masters in gold, silver, bronze and later, in iron. Much of the influence of Bronze Age European metal ornament lends itself to the influence Celtic master craftspeople.