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Gold Celtic Needle

ID Number: 57
Category: Irish Hammered Coins
Grade: Extremely Fine w/Superb uninterrupted patina
Weight: 4.21 g.
Date: c. 1500 BC or earlier
Pedigree: ex Kunker Mar 2010, L.363
Price: $2750.
Additional Details
Gold needle with an ornamented head of fine Celtic manufacture and design, 85.94 mm., formed by rolling and hammering a flattened pure yellow gold sheet approximately 4 mm. wide into a round needle, while leaving approximately 30 mm. at the end flat, then split cutting the end parallel to the shaft of the needle, leaving two paddles, then oppositely rolling the two paddles into 2 rolled concentric  circles, one rolled clockwise, the other counter clockwise, to form two Celtic “eyes” to the needle, as viewed from the side.   The finely crafted metal work and method of manufacture shows plainly under a glass.  Housed in a modern velvet lined presentation box.

The celtic design of adjacent winding spirals, with one circle winding clockwise and the adjacent counter clockwise, is the same as that found on the entrance stones protecting the entrances to the passage tombs at New Grange and at Knowth, and on the wall inside the New Grange tomb .  The design has been thought to symbolize and be associated with the lengthening and shortening of days until the point in time,  22nd December, when days no longer shorten but begin to lengthen.  Finding this enigmatic but well known design on the specific artifact of a gold needle strengthens the conjecture that the symbolism of the entrance stones at New Grange and elsewhere is associated with the point in time, when the days no longer shorten but begin to lengthen. 

Still, one must ponder why gold was used to execute the design.  Gold is far too soft for the needle to be an implement.  The purpose of this golden needle may well be to symbolize the shaft of light that enters the passage tomb one day of the year, once the shortening and lengthening of days comes into balance on the day of the vernal equinox.  I call it a model light ray.  Although others may see this differently, other gold artifacts have been found in Ireland from the period that are also models, such as the Broighter Boat, a gold model of a boat, adapted for the Millennium year 2000 Irish One Punt design.
Obverse side
Princess Kaiulani Collection
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