- Museum number
- Object: The Wandsworth shield boss
Copper-alloy shield boss with repoussé ornament in the form of stylized bird-heads. The metal varies in thickness from 1.3mm at the base to 0.75mm at the top of the boss and 0.6mm at the edge of the flange. Wrought sheet copper-alloy roundel with a central boss that is surrounded by a circular ridge; the latter has been made sinuous by punching a tracer into the metal at the back in zig-zag manner. The surface of the boss has been ornamented with a chased design that consists of two identical motifs each covering one half of the boss, although there are slight differences in detail. In the centre of the boss there is a depression with a central rivet hole; an ornamented stud was presumably once placed in this depression. In the groove around the top of the boss traces of a walked scorper line can just be detected; this line has been restored all the way round. The flange around the boss is embellished with relief curvilinear ornament that consists of two identical motifs each covering one half of the flange. The axis of symmetry is on almost exactly the same diameter as the axis of symmetry of the pattern on the boss. The outer edges of the relief have been sharpened at the front with a blunt tracer. In some of the hollowed areas bordered by the relief work there are engraved and chased patterns, some of the lines having been produced in rocked graver technique. In the centre of the depression on each of the formalised bird-heads there is a rivet, probably for the attachment of a now missing stud. The mount was attached to a shield by means of six rivets of which only one now survives; this has a domed head and projects 8mm at the back of the mount, indicating that the shield itself was no more than 8mm thick.
- Production date
- 350 BC - 150 BC (circa)
Thickness: 0.70 - 1.10 millimetres (edge)
Diameter: 328 - 333 millimetres
Height: 42 millimetres
Weight: 629 grammes
- Curator's comments
- Two cracks almost diametrically opposed, were repaired in antiquity; only one of the repairs is preserved - a short length of wire passed through a pair of holes on either side of the crack, the ends hammered flush with the surface of the metal. The wire passes across the crack on the reverse. Two similar tiny rivet holes on the opposite side of the mount indicate that the repair there was probably of the same kind.
- On display (G50/dc9)
- Exhibition history
2016 11 Mar- 25 Sep, Edinburgh, National Museum of Scotland, Celts.
2015-2016 24 Sep-31 Jan, London, BM, G30, 'Celts: Art and Identity'
2012 15 Sep-2013 17 Feb, Germany, Stuttgart, Landesmuseum Württemberg, The World of the Celts: Treasures of Art
2009 Aug-Nov, Newcastle, Great North Museum, 'Lindow Man'
2008-2009 Apr-Apr, Manchester Museum, 'Lindow Man'
1980, London, BM, Celtic Antiquities from Gaul
1970 15 Oct-22 Nov, London, Hayward Gallery, Early Celtic Art
1970 22 Aug-12 Sep, Edinburgh, Royal Scottish Museum, Early Celtic Art
1964 24 Jun-14 Jul, Wandsworth Central Library, The Story of Wandsworth
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number