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  • BeastCoins
    started a topic Celtic Mount?

    Celtic Mount?

    Hello Forum Members,

    I recently purchased this object, described only as a "Celtic Mount". It is 46mm x 34mm and I don't have the weight yet. I'm curious as to what it would have been mounted and bought it as it looks to me to be a bear head.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance,

    --Beast
    Attached Files

  • AlexB
    replied
    Hi Beast

    As you say the nose holes look wrongly placed and a little small for a door knocker. However, the ears could have a 'crescent shaped' knocker held into its 'sockets' - the springloading of this holds it is place - like a hip-joint in the socket.

    Any wearing in the ears?

    Either way, a nice piece, I would lean towards Medieval/European.

    Brgds

    Alex
    Last edited by AlexB; Oct 27, 2009, 07:01 PM.

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  • BeastCoins
    replied
    O.k. - I took some new photos, thinking they might be of some help.

    The only "holes" on the piece are in the neck ruff, which would be useful for attaching it to something, and one through the snout, which would be good for holding a ring handle if affixed to a small box or chest. The holes in the eyes, ears and mouth are shallow and for design not function.

    --Beast

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  • cogito
    replied
    I think Alex is on the right track. The larger hole and extension at the bottom of the piece was probably where it was affixed to a box or the like. Can't tell from the picture, but I suspect there's a similar one at the top of the piece. If it were used as an ornamental mount for carrying it would make sense that it would be affixed at the top and the bottom where the stresses would be the greatest.

    Jeff

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  • AlexB
    replied
    More

    Hi

    I just saw this in todays FT! Obviously this one is Chinese and probably not so old but looks very similar in terms of the mountings...


    Brgds

    Alex
    Attached Files

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  • Flavus
    replied
    I was also thinking in the same line at first that it might be a shield boss or something like that. However, realistically I think it is a little bit too small for one (a good deal three or even four times smaller than at least as I know the usual size of the boss would be).
    And if it is a shield boss indeed, by its awesome state it looks like it didn't see much action either - I don't see any battle inflicted scratches or their traces. Which I would think would be strange for a real shield boss.
    By its size (just a couple of inches) and numerous holes around the edge (which I'd assume are for nails) I'd say that to me this piece looks like an early medieval door knocker. It also doesn't look like a bear to me either (there's no snout) - more like a head either in a Viking helmet http://www.hurstwic.org/history/arti...ng_helmets.htm or Norman Medieval http://www.realmcollections.com/helm...al-helmet.html
    The holes in the "ears", I think, are where the knocking piece was mounted.
    The only part of this wonderous object that leaves me wondering what it's for is the "mouth" hole.

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  • Kernos
    replied
    Unfortunately, the only way this could be designated Celtic would be to have an appropriate architectural context. The style is iffy, IMO.

    Still a grand piece for a Bear collector!

    Bill Blank

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  • djmacdo
    replied
    I have the feeling it could well be "Celtic"--meaning by that barbarian or heavily influenced by barbarian art, though not necessarily by Celts. Might be Germanic or even Thracian or even some mixed group such as the Bastarnae. It is clearly a work of folk art rather than of a highly sophisticated artist, but all the more powerful and charming for that.

    As to use, I'd suggest perhaps an ornamental mount for a chest or even a chariot or wagon.

    Leave a comment:


  • BeastCoins
    replied
    Bill,

    No idea why ancient bears are so doggone rare. Perhaps the ancients were Packer fans (at least, it seems to us Bears fans that he's been around plaguing us that long!)

    I don't have any provenance on this piece unfortunately. I bought it from a European dealer.

    --Beast

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  • Kernos
    replied
    I think you asked me about this and I am not sure if I responded. I agree with Chris. My impression is not Celtic.

    A big help would be to know where it was dug up and in what context ;-)

    I have wondered why bears are so rare on coinage?

    Leave a comment:


  • BeastCoins
    replied
    Hello Gunner,

    I haven't taken my own photos of this piece yet, but will after I get back from the CICF show next week. I'll do some of the Indus Valley bear as well for comparison.

    It's a neat piece and I thought the price was good too.

    --Beast

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  • Gunner
    replied
    Beast,
    Can you post various angle shots of that piece? I'm curious to see it in its entirety.

    P.S. I saw where you acquired it. Great deal!

    Gunner

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  • BeastCoins
    replied
    Response from Chris Rudd, Celtic Expert, on March 23, 2006:

    "Thanks for the bear image and details. Fascinating! My initial impression, not having searched for comparanda, is that it may not be Celtic, but rather later in date - perhaps Roman or Medieval - but I have no grounds for saying this, apart for my feeling that the lifelike representation of the bear's head, to my eyes at least, looks too realistic and not stylised enough to be classed as iron age."

    Basically, what I figured the response would be. This piece actually bears a resemblance to a piece of ancient earthenware I bought at the NYINC show in January, of a Himilayan Mountain Bear made in the Indus Region. I still need to have that piece photographed.

    --Beast

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  • BeastCoins
    replied
    Well, I have the piece in hand now. It weighs 31.77g and is nicely polished on the surfaces and is hollow in back and unpolished. There are holes in the mane or neck ruff all of the way around and a hole through the snout or muzzle. The holes in the ears are only shallow and meant to show as ears apparently - they do not go through the head. There is a similar shallow hole to represent the mouth.

    I think Gunner may be on the right track with armor or shield bossing, or possibly as Alex suggested as a boss for a vessel. I'll see if I can get any comments from Chris Rudd on the piece.

    Thanks for the input!

    --Beast

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  • AlexB
    replied
    With the holes in the head for a handle (?) I would suspect from a vase/cup of some sort.

    Brgds

    Alex

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