071. Arm-guard

071. Arm-guard

Diam. spiral: 17.5 cm [1]
Central Europe, probably Hungary
Transitional Middle to Late Bronze Age
c. 1300 B.C. (Koszider Period)

Ex collection:
Dr. Samuel Egger, Vienna
John Ball?
S.E. Lucas
John Hewett
Lord McAlpine of West Green

Made probably with the use of moulds but mainly by repeated hammering with annealing, the section joining the spiral to the armring is chased with parallel lines, hatched triangles and chevron designs. The ridge of some of the spirals is decorated with nicks. In the centre of the spiral is a moveable circular plate with a central conical projection made separately and affixed at the back with a small cross-piece.

Condition: patina a dark to lighter green olive, traces of deposit and some yellowish stains.

The guard was made for the left arm and was obviously originally one of a pair. For very close parallels there are some examples in the London Egger sale [2], found in Hungary, a pair that would appear to have similar decoration from Berkesz in Hungary [3] and, another [4] from the same find. They were massive, flexible and sturdy; their execution a technical feat for the period.

Though variously described as wrist-guards or arm-guards, it is unlikely that they could be the former, though conceivable as elbow-guards, however impractical - we prefer to think of them as shoulder-guards as their construction would seem more suited to this purpose.

On view: Hertfordshire County Museum, St. Albans

MacGregor, A. (ed.): Antiquities from Europe and the Near East in the Collection of The Lord McAlpine of West Green, (Oxford, 1987), no. 8.7, p. 94.

1 Measurement taken across centre from outer edge to outer edge (including outer loop slightly detached).

2 Sotheby, Wilkinson, Hodge, 25 June 1891, lots 140, 141.

3 Mozsolics, A.: Bronzefunde aus Ungarn (Budapest, 1985), pl. 178, 1+2.

4 Mozsolics, A.: op. cit., pl. 179, 1+2.