Hallaton silver bowl

A link to one of the items found by my uncle that is now being
exhibited nationally. It shows an example of the silverwork done by
pre-roman Britons which wre at the time beyond anything else in the
western world. (search celtic gold torcs) He also found a Roman
ceremonial silver centurions helmet-only the second known in the
world, the other being found in Germany a while back which is
currently being conserved. A bronze one from Cumbria was sold
recently for an awful fot of money and wasnt anywhere near as rare
or as good. The ancient brit’s skills in farming and metal extraction
was why the Romans invaded-they got fed up with trading and decided
to grab the lot.

Nick Royall

Thank you for sharing this, Nick. I had the honor to hold an ancient
torc in my hand; amazing to feel the marks of the ancient
goldsmith’s work. It’s so easy to think of ancient peoples as
primitive but their metal work was far from being primitive and can
stand today with anything that we can produce. Bring on time travel -
wouldn’t it be a treat to go back and meet them! Would we feel at
home at their benches?

I’m sure that many of the techniques we use today they would be
familiar with and probably teach us a thing or two as well such as
hand drawing wire ( I can describe the technique of making perfectly
round wire without draw plates or lathes but wouldnt fancy trying to
emulate their work). The ancient Brits knew a massive amount about
extraction metallurgy and produced a huge quantity of metals in the
pre-roman era that was exported over the old world. We never lost
those skills, just the ability to write things dowm when the Romans
left so there is little indication of how important it was during
the"dark ages"(see earlier posts on Saxon treasure). In Spain, after
the occupation by the Arabs all mining virtually ceased and the Arab
world had to capture and enslave people from the north of europe to
do the necessaries. This was a two way street though with arab
artisans working on the great cathedrals of England, France and
Spain before the reconquest and holy wars.

Best regards,
Nick Royall

I contacted the silversmith about the replica made for this
exhibition. Sadly, he hasn’t published his records/analysis of the
work, but said he’d contact me if he did ever publish. Perhaps if
other jewellers contact him to ask, he might consider doing it.

Jamie Hall

Perfectly round wire? Which technique are you referring to?

Jamie Hall