Silver Neck Ring

Date: 475–400 B.C.

Culture: Celtic

Medium: Silver

Dimensions: Overall: 5 7/8 x 6 1/16 x 15/16 in. (14.9 x 15.4 x 2.4 cm)

Classification: Metalwork-Silver

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1947

Accession Number: 47.100.16


This object was discovered in Mâcon, France. It is unusual in that it is made of silver, which was more commonly used by the Celtic artisans working in eastern Europe, for they had easier access to the precious metal. The particular configuration of its design is distinctly western, however, and recalls torques from Switzerland and Germany that were created in bronze.

A particularly striking feature of the design is the tiny human heads that mark the juncture between the plain and decorated segments. They are triangular in shape, with detailed facial features, mustaches, and trailing beards. The round, empty sockets in the beads above the heads most likely held pieces of coral: tiny prongs designed to hold the pieces in place still remain.