Horns of bronze

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From Torrs, Kelton, Kirkcudbrightshire

Postcard of Horns of bronze.
© National Museums Scotland

Horns of bronze

These two bronze horns were found with a unique pony cap at Torrs, at Kelton in Kirkcudbrightshire. Their relationship to the cap is unclear, but they were not originally attached to it when it was first made.

Both horns are engraved with tendril patterns. A duck's head with large eyes, once filled with coral bosses, is preserved on one horn, and presumably was present on the other.

It is not known what the horns originally came from. They are unlikely to be drinking horns, as previously suggested, but would have come from an ostentatious display object. Both the horns and cap were probably buried as gifts to the gods.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-000-000-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FA 72
Date: Between 300 and 100 BC
Material: Bronze
What: Mask / chamfrain
Who: Joseph Train (Originally presented item to Sir Walter Scott)
Where: Scotland, Kirkcudbrightshire, Kelton, Torrs
Scotland, Roxburghshire, Abbotsford
Description: Bronze mask or chamfrain found in a moss at Torrs, Kelton
  • Calder, Jenni. The wealth of a nation. Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland and Glasgow: Richard Drew Publishing, 1989, pp. 97-9. 
  • MacGregor, Morna. Early Celtic art in North Britain. Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1976, vol. 1, pp. 146-7; vol. 2, nos. 285, 286. 
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