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Spiral (ribbon) torque

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Very thin metal, in some places double, tapering ends finished in solid quatrefoils and bent to clasp.


1882, discovered at Innishowen, County Donegal, Ireland by Rev. Dr. William Chadwick Neligan, Cork; sold by Neligan to Augustus Henry Pitt Rivers (b. 1827 - d. 1900) and kept at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Farnham, England; 1936, sold by the Pitt Rivers Museum, through John Hunt (b. 1900 - d. 1976), Dublin and London, represented by Goldschmidt Galleries, New York, to William Randolph Hearst (b. 1863 - d. 1951), New York and Los Angeles [see note 1]; July 11, 1939, Hearst sale, Sotheby's, London, lot 363, bought in; 1941, sold by Hearst to Berry-Hill Gallery, New York; 1950, sold by Berry-Hill to the MFA for $500. (Accession Date: January 12, 1950) NOTES: [1] The provenance information for MFA object nos. 50.8-50.10 was generously shared and clarified by Brian O'Connell, Shannon Heritage Trust (correspondence of August 13, 2008, in MFA curatorial file).

Credit Line

Gift of the Eire Society and Harriet Otis Cruft Fund

Irish, Irish Middle Bronze Age, about 1200–1000 B.C.


9.02 cm (3 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Metal; gold