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Author Topic: Statue of Brigid or Hecate?  (Read 2148 times)

jverdant

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Statue of Brigid or Hecate?
« on: May 25, 2016, 03:59:33 pm »
I own a very nice cold-cast bronze statue made by JBL which is advertised as a representation of Brigid. The web sites selling it or the version with the pillar in the middle give a source for it as "British Museum", implying that it was at least inspired by an artifact in their collection. I've suspected for a long time that this ID might not be correct, and the statue reminds me a lot more of traditional representations of Hecate.




I finally got curious one day to look up similar items on the British Museum web site, and couldn't find anything related to Brigid. I did find several representations of Hecate in their collection that match the statue pretty closely, right down to the style of dress (which was my first tip-off as the clothing doesn't look particularly like what I normally associate with Pagan Ireland or Britain, though I know there was Roman influence in the latter).

A couple of posts on this site seem to agree with me: http://www.novaroma.org/forum/mainlist/1999/1999-01-26.html

In particular, the snakes and crescent staff seem more like Hecate associations (moon and underworld). The tongs seem like Brigid (smithcraft) but could also be birthing tongs (childbirth is another Hecate association). I'm not sure what the rectangular object is meant to represent. But the Diamond-shaped blade appears in a lot of representations of Hecate.

The lack of torches or keys seems like it is a big issue with this identification though, and the poppy crown is associated with the unnamed Minoan goddess and/or Demeter. Maybe the JBL artists, lacking a good portrayal of Brigid, just brought together a bunch of iconography to create a general-use Triple goddess statue and labelled it Brigid because that's more marketable... Any thoughts on this?



Darkhawk

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Re: Statue of Brigid or Hecate?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2016, 11:12:10 pm »
Quote from: jverdant;191830
I own a very nice cold-cast bronze statue made by JBL which is advertised as a representation of Brigid. The web sites selling it or the version with the pillar in the middle give a source for it as "British Museum", implying that it was at least inspired by an artifact in their collection. I've suspected for a long time that this ID might not be correct, and the statue reminds me a lot more of traditional representations of Hecate.

 
As far as I know, there are no ancient anthropomorphic images of any of the insular Celtic gods; that's not how they did things.  So if it's based on something int he British Museum, that something is not an icon of Brighid.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Dynes Hysbys

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Re: Statue of Brigid or Hecate?
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2016, 09:01:51 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;192075
As far as I know, there are no ancient anthropomorphic images of any of the insular Celtic gods; that's not how they did things.  So if it's based on something int he British Museum, that something is not an icon of Brighid.



Yes it was the Romans who introduced the fashion for  beautiful and detailed depictions of  deities. Celtic representations where they exist are a completely different style - for example the matronae  found a few miles from Bath are pretty typical


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