White La Tène Shield, from the La Tène Site
Original: Circa 250-200 B.C.
Several intact shields were dredged from Lake Neuchatel, at the site of La Tène. These shields were constructed of oak planks, and one had both its umbo and band-shaped boss intact.
This reconstruction very closely follows the size and dimensions of the La Tène shield. Careful attention is taken to use only period-appropriate materials. It is constructed of European white oak planks, assembled with hide glue, then covered front and back with oak-tanned leather which is doubled over the rim and stitched with linen cord. The umbo is hand-carved by the maker. The strap boss is sheet iron and the grip reinforce is forged and shaped iron. Forged iron nails where necessary. The grip is wrapped in natural oak-tanned leather affixed by hide glue.
The shield is painted with historically-appropriate cassein paints, and the design is the maker's best interpretation of a La Tène II design, with loose, sprawling S-curves and stylized "bird-head" terminals in the Swiss tradition. The main color choice is "Telamon" white, after the description of the white shields wielded at the battle of Telamon. The maker is currently experimenting with natural powder pigment to accentuate the umbo.
The boss is hand-hammered (cold-forged) sheet iron. The domed forged nails used to rivet the boss were supplied by John Heinz of Herugrim Custom Ironwork
. The boss corresponds to Rapin Type II, which was one of the most common and longest-lasting of the boss forms. The iron grip reinforce was purchased commercially through a restoration hardware source and re-shaped and polished by maker.
The shield may eventually be fitted with an iron gutter-shaped rim at its top and bottom.
Thickness: .5" tapering to less than .25" at the rim
Grip length: 4.75"
Boss: 11.5" wide, 4" tall
Umbo: 39" long, 4.75" wide, 3.125" high
Weight: approximately 14 pounds
Maker: Nate Bell.