28. A Celtic Bronze Wassail Cup

Northern England, 4th–3rd century BC
Size: 11 cm diameter

Celtic heads have attitude, and this is no exception. Whether the aggression was innate, or provoked by foreign and local invaders, is hard to decipher nowadays. Walking through a football crowd recently, I heard several snatches of conversations, including: ‘So I fucking decked him, didn’t I?’, which suggests that the Celtic frame of mind is still among us. But I hope, if this was a wassail cup, a lot of companionable drinking would have gone on before the fights broke out.

Provenance: Anatole France, Paris (1844–1924)
Ratton-Ladrière, Paris
Private collection, Paris
Private collection, London