Celtic Triskelion Pendant, Bronze

Product No.:001001
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29,00 EUR
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Celtic Triskelion - Our Pendant

Our Triskelion pendant bases on ornament No. 292 in Paul Jakobsthal´s Book "Early Celtic Art". This book, printet in the 40s of the last century, is a very import literature for studies on early celtic ornaments at Universtities even today.
In similiar design the Triskelion was used as decoration on celtic sword scabbards of the Latène age (pic. 2).
  Celtic Triskelion Paul Jakobsthal

The pendant is made single sided and delivered with a certificate and a leather thong. Size 38 x 31 mm.

Celtic Triskelion - The Archaeology

The floral tendril, which creates the Triskelion, is a popular decoration in the celtic art of the early Iron Age. The three spiral arms of the Triskelion (or Triskel) are displayed in countless variants through the celtic world. Paul Jakobsthal, jewish immigrant during the Third Reich in World War II, published a famous collection of celtic decoration styles in 1944, the core literature "Early Celtic Art".

The Triskelion with three conjoined spirals is an ancient symbol, the first appearance is verified in the neolithic age. A great portal stone of the megalithic passage tomb of Newgrange in Ireland is decorated with stone carvings, depicting various spiral motifs, dating between 3300 and 2500 BC. Finally, in the celtic iron age it became omnipresent.  

Triskelion of Newgrange

Early neolithic Triskelion depiction at Newgrange, Ireland
(Wiki Commons)

Even after the roman conquest the old symbols were still in use.The Triskelion is familiar until the late roman age and still in early medieval literature like the Book of Kells, the motif was used as decoration in the illuminated manuscripts. It shows, how the Roman Empire integrated the celtic population by accepting their cultural and religious identity. Today, the Triskelionion is a symbol for ancient traditions, it is used in the flags of the Ile of Man, Sicily or by the Bretons to show their historical independence from the French central government.

Celtic Triskelion - The Meaning

We don´t know much about the religious world and the belief of the ancient celts. There is no written literature from their own hands, and so we do not have the possibility to proof our interpretation of the celtic symbols like the Triskelion. We only can compare other cultures and artistic depictions. What we know about the Triskelion symbol is that it is often used to decorate weapons as celtic sword scabbards, for example. Maybe the meaning of the three rotating arms could here be seen in a circle of life, consisting of birth, life and death.

Anyway, the number three is popular in celtic art and jewellery, but it also plays an important role in mythology. There are statues with three faces, depicting an unknown god. At the gallo-roman sacrifical stele of Beaune he is accompanied by Luna, the goddess of the moon and the antlered god Cernunnos
The belief of the magical power of the number three is still alive today, for example in the christian trinity of godfather, son and holy ghost.

  Triskelion 3 faced god

Rural superstitions often refer to the magical number: To stay healthy during the year, it is recommended to eat three spring flowers. To find mushrooms in the forest, the first three finds should be offered to the forest spirits. One should spit three times on the earth to be lucky and successful (toi, toi toi!). It brings luck to sneeze 3 times with empty stomach or when a spider runs three times over your hand.
Probably the symbol is thought to protect it´s owner, to bring him victory and invulnerabilty, as the incravings on celtic sword scabbards suggest.


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