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Celtic Iron Short Sword w/ Bronze Handle

Central Europe, Celtic culture, ca. 500 to 0 BCE. A lovely short sword with a forged iron blade and a hammered bronze handle secured with three small rivets. The handle is comprised of a single piece of bronze which is wrapped around the wide blade tang. The blade has a thick spine, a sharpened edge, and bends at a slight angle near the midpoint. This sword has an extremely sturdy design that would adequately serve a warrior on the battlefield. Size: 1.1" W x 17.375" H (2.8 cm x 44.1 cm).

The Celtic world spanned most of Europe, from Spain to Britain, and as a result there was a great deal of variation in its material culture. Weapons like this one have a great deal of individual variation, probably reflecting the preferences of the person commissioning them. This is in strong contrast to the more mass-produced, standardized Roman swords. We know that the Romans admired the Celtic iron weaponry, especially that of the Celto-Iberians, and the beauty and deadliness of this example highlights the skill and creativity of the smith who made this piece.

Condition: Surface wear and abrasions commensurate with age and use, oxidation to blade, small nicks to blade and handle, slight bending to overall form of blade and handle, and light roughness across most surfaces. Nice earthen deposits throughout. Great green patina along bronze handle.

Provenance: ex-private Castleford, England, United Kingdom collection

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