"Arch of Orange" Shield
Original: Circa late 1st century BC - 1st century AD
In the late La Tène period (La Tène III), a different type of Celtic shield began to appear. The newer shields retained the basic oval or oblong shape, and large size. However, instead of the usual spindle-shaped umbo with band-shaped boss, this form of shield had an iron domed boss, "riveted" to the shield board with iron nails. An iron rim also became a more common feature.
The Roman triumphal Arch of Orange is an excellent artistic source illustrating the "new" shield type. This arch was erected to celebrate a late 1st century AD Roman victory over the Gauls. The arch depicts the domed iron boss shields alongside the older style spindle-boss shields. In addition, the arch depicts the designs on the shields with great detail.
This particular replica is "sized to fit" the owner. In other words, its ratio to the wielder and the amount of the bearer that it covers matches the proportions depicted on the Arch of Orange.
The body of the shield is laminated birch, chamfered from center to rim. The shield is covered front and back with natural oak-tanned leather secured by hide glue. The hand-forged iron boss was purchased for the shield from Manning Imperial
, and affixed with forged iron nails. The rim of the shield is cold-forged mild steel secured with iron forged nails. The central grip is of aged oak, slotted, glued, and nailed into place. It is further reinforced by an iron reinforcing strip. The reinforcing strip is a hand-forged handle commercially available for Colonial-era home restoration; it has been re-shaped, flattened, and polished by the maker to better represent surviving period examples.
Thickness: .5" tapering to less than .25" at the rim
Grip length: 4.75"
Boss: 7.5" wide, 2.5" tall
Weight: approximately 14-15 pounds
Maker: Nate Bell.