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Yorkshire Celtic Carved Stone Head


Regular price £4,000.00
Regular price Sale price £4,000.00
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A primitively carved  Celtic stone head from Yorkshire mounted on later plinth.

A captivating naive Celtic work of art. Three-dimensional and free standing.

Celtic expert Dr Anne Ross writes that the symbol of the severed human head is as representative of the Celtic religion as is the Cross in Christian contexts :'The Celts, like many other barbarian peoples, hunted human heads. We know this from the skulls found in Celtic hill-forts. These severed heads would serve as trophies testifying to the military prowess of their owner; and, at the same time, powers believed to be inherent in the human head would act protectively and keep evil from the fortress or the home, while ensuring positive good luck and success.'

Later repurposed upon a secondary plinth to surmount a wall or a gate as a finial as a Gatekeeper.

Wonderfully time-worn sandstone. With deeply set eyes, the upper and lower eyelids joined into ovals. A furrowed brow and once parallel sided nose. The hair was deeply naturalistically carved with shell shaped ears. Remaining are the outlines of a small scalloped collar shape at the nape of the neck.

The right side of the slightly upturned smiling mouth bears an unexplained feature seen in numerous Celtic heads, a hole the diameter of a pencil or 'cigarette hole’ (red Celtic expert Sidney Jackson and Dr Anne Ross’ “Celtic and Other Stone Heads”).

With reference to material gathered mainly from the West Riding of Yorkshire, Sidney Jackson suggested that”[…] the cult of the human head and a belief in its evil-averting or luck-bringing powers was so deeply-rooted in local native tradition - fostered by the self-contained isolation of the region - that it has remained there as a virtually indestructible aspect of folklore and superstition […] - Dr Anne Ross

  • Width: 18 cm (7.09″)
  • Height: 33 cm (12.99″)
  • Depth: 19 cm (7.48″)