Northern Europe, Britain, Celtic period (Iron Age), ca. 500 to 1 BCE. A round, grey river cobble carved with a simple anthropomorphic face of classic Iron Age Celtic style. Long, deep grooves form lentoid eyes, a straight nose, high cheekbones, and an open mouth. The stylized face has an expression scholars of Celtic art describe as "blank" or "open". Comes with custom stand. Size: 3.35" W x 3.7" H (8.5 cm x 9.4 cm); height on stand: 4.8" (12.2 cm).
Celtic art from this period is often composed of simple lines and curves rich in hidden meaning that we puzzle over today. The Celtic world covered a huge geographic area in western and northern Europe, but had a unified artistic style. Archaeologist Barry Cunliffe has written about how these disparate communities used travel by ship to cover vast distances and how sharing iconography like this face created a common cultural background. It is very interesting to realize that Celtic art of this style coexisted in Europe at the same time as Classical Greece's increasingly realistic sculpture and painting.
Provenance: Ex-Jones collection, York, England
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