FLANGED TORC

TARA, CO. MEATH
1200-1000 BCE
GOLD
38 CM
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF IRELAND, DUBLIN
 
The Tara hoard, which includes two gold torcs, demonstrates a considerable technical ability among the Irish Celts, who presumably produced such objects for both export and domestic markets. This torc is unusual in comparison to other torcs because it was flange twisted; four rectangular gold bars were hammered into thin flanges on an anvil and very closely twisted. The terminals are soldered separately to the ends of the torc and are turned back to hook onto one another. One of the terminals extends approximately 13 cm. and ends in a small conical knob that has moulding attached to the inner end.

According to Raftery, Tara is one of the best-known early Irish royal sites. A peasant boy found this torc along with another flanged torc in the side of a clay rath in 1810. The hoard consists of only two flanged torcs.

In comparison to other flanged torcs, this object is much more elaborate because of the terminals and the close twisting. It is also one of the largest and the heaviest torcs; it weighs approximately 27 ounces. According to Wilde, the torc was probably worn obliquely across the breast with the projecting terminal used to hold the bridle-rein. Eogan suggests that the torc is so large that it could have been worn around the waist.
 
 

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