Lot 118. A Celtic gold torque, circa late 4th century B.C. Estimate USD 120,000 - USD 180,000. Photo Christie's Images Ltd 2016.
7 1/8 in. (18 cm.) wide
Provenance: Johan Gilch (d. 1943); thence by descent to his son Alfred Gilch (1918-2013) and his wife, Elizabeth Gilch (b. 1926), Munich; thence by descent.
Notes: This impressive torque is pennanular in form with large conical terminals, and is made from hammered sheet gold. Each end is ornamented in relief in repoussé with some details chased. Amidst scrolling tendrils emerges a bearded head, with a palmette descending below. A raised band offsets the shaft from the terminals, which are embellished with a continuous scrolling form. The flat ends of the terminals are centered by a triskeles pattern enclosed within a notched band.
The form and style is closely matched by another torque from Waldalgesheim now in the Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn (see R. Megaw and V. Megaw, Celtic Art, From its Beginnings to the Book of Kells, p. 136). While the scrolling and palmettes find their ultimate inspiration from Greek and Etruscan art, as employed here the style becomes uniquely Celtic.
Christie's. Sale 12257. Antiquities, 25 October 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza