52. Celtic Mirrors & Iron Age Treasures with James Handley

Jo's Art History Podcast

Mar 15 2022 • 1 hr 11 mins

Celtic Mirrors & Iron Age Treasures with James Handley

Welcome back to Jo’s Art History Podcast!!

We are nearing the end of Season 2 and this week I am bringing you something a little different - an episode all about Celtic Mirrors and Iron Age Treasure!

This week, I sit down with British Artist James Handley to discuss something completely unique to Britain, Celtic Hand Held Mirrors which have been found all over the British Isles. But, I hear you ask, what are these mirrors so important?

To begin with, they are incredibly rare, only been 29 or 30 of these incredible mirrors have been discovered. They are also incredibly detailed and complex in their design and build, which when you think about when they were first created (from approximately 300 B.C. to 70 A.D) it is beyond mind-blowing.

We know very little about them but what they do offer modern-day viewers is a look into British Craft and Design History.

James also discusses one of the greatest Celtic Art finds ever discovered in Britain, the Battersea Shield, as well as one of the biggest ‘Torc’ findings in Britain.

This episode celebrates the craftsmanship, beauty and design of these objects and why they deserve to be considered as some of the greatest artworks ever made in Britain.



Guest: James Handley




I think I have decided on the objects (i believe we said we would choose 5?) that might work well on the podcast.

1) Desborough Mirror ( https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_1924-0109-1 )


2) Chettle Down Mirror ( https://i1.wp.com/celticmirrors.org/images/chettleparkhoardLg2.jpg?ssl=1 )

3) Birdlip Mirror ( https://i2.wp.com/celticmirrors.org/images/birdlipdecoratedLg.jpg?ssl=1 )

4) The Great Snettisham Gold Torc ( https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_1951-0402-2 )





5) The Battersea Shield ( https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_1857-0715-1