Bracelets of bronze

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From Bunrannoch, Perthshire and Grange of Conan, Angus

Postcard of Bracelets of bronze.
© National Museums Scotland

Bracelets of bronze

These two bronze spiral bracelets were found at Bunrannoch in Perthshire and Grange of Conan in Angus. They are a distinctly Scottish form of Iron Age jewellery, clearly made for ostentatious display in the first two centuries AD.

The bracelets are of a type known as spiral or 'snake' bracelets. They were cast in straight rods, decorated in part with ribbing or grooves, with animal heads at the ends. The rods were then coiled into spirals. One end of the Angus example is missing.

Jewellery functioned as a symbol of power and prestige in many periods. Bracelets such as these would have been the property of the aristocracy. Most have been found in the northeast of Scotland.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-036-172-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.HD 56
Date: Between 0 and 200 AD
Material: Bronze; of four spiral bands
Bronze; with three spirals; parallel rounded mouldings in centre; zoomorphic ends
Dimensions: 2.50" internal D; weight 18 oz
What: Armlet
Where: Scotland, Angus, Cairnconan
Scotland, Perthshire, Bunrannoch
Description: Spiral snake armlet of bronze from Bunrannoch
Bronze armlet of three spirals with parallel rounded mouldings in the centre and zoomorphic ends, from Cairnconan, Angus
  • MacGregor, Morna. Early Celtic art in North Britain. Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1976, vol. 1, pp 103-5; vol. 2, nos. 213, 218. 
  • Stevenson, Robert B.K. Metal-work and some other objects in Scotland and their cultural affinities. In: Rivet, A.L.F. The Iron Age in northern Britain. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1966, p 32. 
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