"Re-enactment Grade" La Tène Shield
Original: Middle La Tène II to late La Tène III

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The prototypical La Tène Celtic shield is ovoid, with a spindle-shaped umbo. This recreation mimics the style closely, without taking the dimensions or form directly from any extant shield find.

The shape of this shield is very close to a true ellipse in form. The maker used the Chertsey shield as a model for the oval shape. Dimensions are "sized to fit"—i.e. the shield's size is based upon its proportion with respect to the owner.

The shield is constructed of modern plywood, although a special-order three-ply oak was used. The umbo is of naturally harvested post oak, hard-carved by the maker without the benefit of power tools. The umbo's center ridge is a separate piece of oak fitted and glued into place. The shield is covered front and back with oak-tanned cowhide, which is doubled over the rim and stitched through with linen thread.

The boss is hand-hammered mild steel sheet. This "butterfly boss" form is a Rapin Type V boss, a form which is fairly late, dating from the middle of La Tène II to the La Tène III period. Painted designs are speculative, but typical of art found on military equipment from mid to late La Tène periods.

This shield is deemed a "re-enactment grade" shield due to several shortcomings in historical accuracy. It utilizes modern plywood construction, modern glue for assembly, modern paint for the front of the shield, modern sheet metal for the boss and handgrip, and two pieces to comprise the umbo and umbo ridge.
Length: 47.75"
Width: 29.75"
Thickness: .5" with slight taper towards the rim
Grip length: 4.25"
Boss: 14" across, 5.75" tall
Boss "wings": 6.75" wide
Umbo: 46.875" long, 5.375" wide, 3" high
Weight: approximately 16-17 pounds

Maker: Nate Bell.

Nathan Bell's Collection

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"Re-enactment Grade" La Tène Shield

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