"While in Europe I saw a few exhibits featuring Celtic and Scandinavian hoards. I was certainly drawn to the torcs and thought others might enjoy seeing what I saw!"
Torcs are neckwear popular in many places in the Western World and throughout several historical periods. They are made of metal generally, and are semi-permanent – meaning they are difficult to put on and off and therefore usually kept around the neck. They are thought to make reference to a person’s status within a tribe, and be a version of portable wealth. They were worn by men, women, warriors, statesmen, children and statues and come in many sizes and styles.
Most of the torcs seen today have been found in burial sites , but more often found in buried hoards. It is unknown if they were buried as offerings or (more likely) were secreted away in times of conflict. Some hoards seem to have been part of a workshop specializing in the making of torcs as they appear to be in mid manufacture when they were found.
Most torcs are of a spiral style that are tapered at each end and close with a simple hook and eye. In the early Bronze Age, torcs were made of bronze, but later, they were made of gold or silver. This twisted spiral type was usually made in the lost wax method of casting. A variation on the twisted spiral was twisted wire bundles where casting was not necessary to create the torc.
The above torc was so large it is doubtful it was worn around the neck of a person. It is an excellent example of a wire torc.
Some torcs are highly decorated and use a variety of techniques to create. Many have terminal ends rather than a simple hook and eye.
These silver torcs look nearly modern to our eye. They were created as an extremely heavy chain and were approximately 12 inches in diameter. I’m sure they were quite heavy.
I hope you enjoyed seeing the beauty and luxury of the peoples of the ancient past.