Object Number: IA:W8

TrumpetTrumpet. Early Iron Age, 1st century BC. Found in a former lake, the Loughnashade, Co. Armagh trumpet is the only one to survive of a hoard of four found originally. Classical writers have left accounts of the unnerving effect on Roman armies which the continental Celts achieved by blowing their war trumpets before a battle and we can assume a similar bellicose function for the splendid trumpet from Loughnashade. However, it is likely that the trumpet was also used on ceremonial and ritual occasions. It consists of two curved tubes the joining of which is concealed by a ridged ring. At the flared mouth there is a decorated ring and the ornament executed in the repoussé technique, based on the classical lotus-bud motif. The quadrants are mirror images of each other and the design is composed of long sinuous tendrils that terminate in spiral bosses in high relief. A number of trumpet curves are incorporated into the design. Both tubes are riveted along their length. One tube, which is clearly a later replacement, is poorly executed while the other is a masterpiece of the riveter’s craft, the quality being only matched occasionally on other fine metalwork such as the Petrie Crown and the Cork Horns. L. along convex edge 186.5cm; Max. D. 8cm; D. of decorated ring 19.3cm.

Collection: Irish Antiquities Division - Antiquities Collection

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