Gold torc

Iron Age, buried about 75 BC
From Sedgeford, Norfolk, England

This torc is broken. When it was made it would have looked like some of the torcs from Snettisham. Perhaps it was broken before it was buried, or it may have been broken later by ploughing. Although many torcs were buried at Snettisham, in other parts of Norfolk and Suffolk Iron Age people also made offerings of gold and silver torcs. Usually, only one torc was buried.

This torc is made from twenty-five metres of twisted gold wire. Forty-eight separate gold wires, each only two millimetres thick, were twisted together. First, pairs of wires were twisted together to make twenty four threads. Then three threads at a time were twisted together in the opposite direction to make eight separate ropes. These were twisted together and the hollow gold 'terminals', the round ends, added. The terminals were cast in moulds using the lost wax method. The La Tène decoration is of a similar type to that on the Snettisham Great Torc and the Ipswich torcs, also in the British Museum.

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More information


I.M. Stead, Celtic art in Britain before t (London, The British Museum Press, 1987, revised edition 1997)


Length: 18.400 cm (surviving part)

Museum number

P&EE 1968 10-4 1


Treasure Trove, purchased with the assistance of the Christy Trust


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