BRONZE AGE TWISTED TORC
Measurements: 15.4 cm − internal diameter, 16.5 cm − external diameter
Description: A bronze penannular torc of open ring shape expertly formed from a single piece of circular wire that has been twisted to create a spiralling effect around much of its length, worn around the neck. It is decreasing in thickness from the middle to the ends, which are bent back to form scrolled terminals. Writhen torcs of the type known as 'alte Wendelringe' survived from the Nordic Late Bronze Age into the Early Iron Age, most commonly with hooked ends and with periodic changes in the direction of twist.
Commonly mentioned as spoils of war and made from different metals torcs were not merely military decorations of men. Quite possibly they served as indications of ranks, status and power. They may also have had religious associations as such objects appear on the figures of the Celtic deities. The specific meaning of the torc may have varied across Celtic world and time.
Reference: MacGregor, A., ed., Antiquities from Europe and the Near East in the Collection of the Lord McAlpine of West Green, 1987, no. 9.13.
Period: 16th - 11th century BC
Condition: Very fine, with attractive verdigris patination over the whole, one terminal damaged, encrustations over the whole.