Britain and Ireland

It would be plainly misleading to argue that Britain and Ireland were exempt from the wider European trend towards the three-dimensional relief styles fashionable from the beginning of the middle La Tene, though the identification of individual pieces as Plastic Style in any formal sense might be difficult. A substantial body of the British material, including the great works of parade armour, are in a very real sense 'plastic', though their construction often entails techniques that are different from those employed in Central or Western Europe. Perhaps the most obvious example from the British series of parade armour that displays elements analogous to the European Plastic Style is the mask-shield from Wandsworth (Figure 6.9), the rendering of the glum faces of which prompted Jope (1976) to look to Western European models, like the unprovenanced rein-ring 'from Paris'. There are nevertheless occasional pieces, like the brooch from Balloch Hill, Argyll (Figure 6.10, 10), the upstanding and lateral bosses of which are plainly in the Continental Plastic Style tradition, as Hawkes recognized (Hull and Hawkes, 1987, 150). Liberating the evaluation of this and other brooches from the conventional belief that the casting of the foot in one piece with the bow was exclusively a La Tene 3 feature, he was able to assign the Balloch brooch to the third century bc. A similar case for direct influence of the Continental Plastic Style on native Irish workshops could be made on the basis of several of the un-provenanced 'pendants' cited by Raftery (1984, Fig. 32, 3, 4; Fig. 35, 13, 14), and the case could be applied with equal force to the ring-headed pins of his Type 2 (1984, Fig. 85, 1-6), with their combination of relief bosses and simple or chained S-motifs.

Iron Age Britain Art
Figure 6.9 The Wandsworth 'face-mask' shield. Adapted from Brailsford (1975a).
Celtiberian Brooch

Figure 6.10 British Iron Age brooches. 1, Box, Wilts; 2, Woodeaton, Oxfordshire; 3, Blandford, Dorset; 4, Newnham Croft, Cambridgeshire; 5, Mill Hill, Deal, Kent; 6, Sawdon, Yorkshire; 7, Danes Graves, Yorkshire; 8, Woodeaton, Oxfordshire; 9, Beckley, Oxfordshire; 10, Balloch Hill, Argyll; 11, Harlyn Bay, Cornwall; 12-13, Maiden Castle, Dorset; 2, 8, 9 drawn from originals in Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; remainder adapted from Hull and Hawkes (1987), Fox (1958) and Jope (2000).

Figure 6.10 British Iron Age brooches. 1, Box, Wilts; 2, Woodeaton, Oxfordshire; 3, Blandford, Dorset; 4, Newnham Croft, Cambridgeshire; 5, Mill Hill, Deal, Kent; 6, Sawdon, Yorkshire; 7, Danes Graves, Yorkshire; 8, Woodeaton, Oxfordshire; 9, Beckley, Oxfordshire; 10, Balloch Hill, Argyll; 11, Harlyn Bay, Cornwall; 12-13, Maiden Castle, Dorset; 2, 8, 9 drawn from originals in Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; remainder adapted from Hull and Hawkes (1987), Fox (1958) and Jope (2000).

Most commentators have been reluctant to apply the term 'Plastic Style' to these or other insular pieces, recognizing that insular La Tene art, British or Irish, has its own independent expression, which will be the subject of more detailed study in later chapters.

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  • Birikti
    Where shield maiden of ireland real?
    7 years ago

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