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Ancient Celtic Coin Art

12 13 Celtic artists loved to play with image and pattern. Their designs mimic themes of poetry and philosophy which were practised not just by druids, bards and healers, but also by metalworkers, craftspeople and blacksmiths. The creation of high status goods required artisans to weave magical force into their skilled physical processes. Any chieftain or warleader would be just as keen to attract the best artists as he would the best warriors to his camp, for the former would provide the precious gifts that ensured the support and loyalty of the latter. Coins were a part of this contract, a magical exchange requiring careful charging with appropriate energies, created by the bold imagery, the precise mix of metals, the melting and formation of the blank discs and the striking of the coin. One curious characteristic of some die designs is that they are very much larger than the coins they are struck upon, even allowing for a margin of error in the stamping process and variation in flan size. The full design thus would never have been seen on any single coin and this suggests a possible ritual intent. Part of the image would always reside within the hidden, invisible spiritual world. The same attitude is reflected in ambiguous designs that shift depending on ones angle of view, and in the combinations of disparate forms. HIddEN FORCES defining the magical universe a. c. d. e. f. g. h. b.
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