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Open Access

Torc

Artist: Unknown Celtic Primary
4th century-3rd century BCE
Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.5 x 0.63 in. (13.97 x 13.97 x 1.59 cm)
Object Type: Jewelry
Medium and Support: Copper alloy
Credit Line: Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.191.247)
Accession Number: L2010.01.11
On View: Bellarmine Hall Galleries

During the Iron Age, torcs were symbols of both social and religious power. These stiff neck rings were worn by high-ranking members of various European cultures, but are most commonly associated with ancient Celtic kings and Druids. The prestige of the torc’s wearer was defined by the preciousness of the metal used and degree of embellishment; some surviving torcs are made of gold and elaborately decorated. This is a modest example.




Keywords

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jewelry
Ornaments such as bracelets, necklaces, and rings, of precious or semiprecious materials worn or carried on the person for adornment; also includes similar articles worn or carried for devotional or mourning purposes.
public domain
Land owned and controlled by the state or federal government. Also, the status of publications, products, and processes that are not protected under patent or copyright.

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