These anklets clearly demonstrate the "Plastic Style," thought to have first emerged from the flat graves of Bohemia during the third or second century BCE. The anklets are composed of six hollowed mounds with protruding circular swells. The central element has three raised studs forming a triskele and is encompassed by an S-curve. The coarse modeling of the Klettham anklets has been compared to an "eye." Jacobsthal states that "On the oblate sloping top and bottom surface there is an eye; an eye also stands upright to left and right of the medallion; its lower lid, marking the end of the ornament , is drawn straight; it is less elaborate than the other eyes, which have double contoured lids and have their eyeballs set on a low platform. These five parts are connected by a ribbon..." (Jacobsthal, 101). The mounds do appear to have "eyes" thus appearing animate and watchful. The highly modeled style of these anklets is organic and massive, while the culmination of round masses creates a harmony of the parts. The Klettham anklets were supposedly found buried with a woman, and are representative of the volumetric bangles from other gravesites in Bohemia and Moravia. The huge diameter of the anklets and their bulkiness is a feature of the anklets that must be stressed. Although skeletons have appeared wearing them in the flat graves of central Europe, it remains uncertain whether they were of purely funerary value or instrumental as functioning as an ornament denoting status in everyday life.
Rajrad in Moravia
Bronze Diameter 10.5 cm.
Moravian Museum Brno
Photo: after Filip, 1976, pl. 30.
This anklet, like the Klettham anklets, is large and bulbous in appearance. It is made up of six semi-spherical mounds in high relief of cast bronze. The central element emanating from the domes is a triskele, the three-armed whirligig. The triskele mound sits upon a flat circular band forming the bottom portion where the cast mounds are joined. The actual arms forming the triskele are cut deeply within the mass of the dome while the areas between swell into a triangular mound topped with a circular protuberance so that each mound has three circular droplets. The anklet appears to be hinged with two domes joining the other four. This anklet exemplifies the bulky character found in some of the flat graves of the Celts in central eastern Europe, while emphasizing circular elements more than the other anklets.
Straubing, Germany (grave IV)
Late 3rd century BCE
Diameter 12 cm.
Photo: after Megaw, 1990, 139.
This hinged anklet from
Germany is another fine example of the bulk and breadth of this type. The anklet
was probably one of a pair and is made up of seven oblong mounds with the characteristic
studded triskele formation in the central area of the protuberance. The mound
is made oblong in shape by the appearance of two "blades" on the top and bottom
of the dome, swirling and gaining mass as the "blade" angles down toward the
underside of the anklet. Not only does this anklet demonstrate height emerging
from the cast mound, but also height from the oblong structure formed by the
blades. The hollow underside also suggests that the domes themselves are slightly
oblate. The movement implied by the triskele is exaggerated by the blades which
also mimic a clockwise motion. This anklet demonstrates the complex problems
that arise with the unknown function of grave goods. The huge diameter of the
bronze anklet along with its heights, would surely weigh a great deal and prove
difficult for the people wearing them. Although possibly worn in everyday adornment,
this anklet suggests that anklets of this type functioned as ritual or funerary
Pair of Anklets Aholming, Lkr. Vilshofen
3rd century BCE
Diameter 13 cm. (internal diameter 7.4cm)
Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg
The Nürnberg anklets
are each made up of seven bronze hollow cast mounds. The anklets open and close
with a mortise-and-tenon catch. One of the anklets' catches is madeup of three
mounds while the other operates with two. The mounds rise 2.9 cm from the base
of the bracelet enhancing the overall appearance of their size. The surface
treatment of the mounds is different than the other anklets because, instead
of rounded protuberances, the Nürnberg anklets are marked by raised flat
ellipses. Jacobsthal refers to these shapes as "eyes" as he also referred to
the Klettham anklets. The eye-shape appears between an S-curve in the central
part of the mound in a diagonal ellipse. The "pupil" appears as a vertical ellipse,
raised and flat. In the bottom and top of the curvilinear shape of the S-curve
fits a thick S-curve with the oblong flat eye-shape appearing within its curves.
The mounds taper into a thin, smooth region where they join and the overall
effect of their surface treatment is the complex interplay of S-curves and ellipses.
Even the mounds appear vertically oblong as well as an overall elliptical shape
of the entire network of mounds. The anklets are intricate like the Klettham
anklets, but elliptical like the Straubing-Alburg anklet.
The Planany anklet pair
are made up of six hollowed cast bronze mounds. Both anklets hinge together
in a way that divides the anklet in half. This anklet pair has close affinities
with the Klettham anklets in the make-up of the six mounds and their overall
shape. The surface is not as complex as the Klettham anklets and results in
a more streamlined and pyramidal shape of the protuberances of the mounds. On
each mound, the S-scroll shape is changed slighty so that the central element
is wrapped within the S-scroll. Within this central element appear the clockwise
triskele with three raised studs between the arms. Inside of the curvilinear
ends of the S-scroll appears another raised element. The S-scroll ends in a
larger raised protuberance that is offset toward the center of the mound. The
three-dimensionality of this anklet is more pronounced than in the other anklets.
The interiors of the anklets are slightly oblong and the exteriors bulge with
the pyramidal swells.