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Mold gold cape
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Like the Hawai’ian feather cape, this unique Bronze Age cape also demonstrated the importance of its wearer. It was found in fragments inside a stone-lined grave, around the remains of a skeleton. Only much later, when it was examined by a conservator at the British Museum, was it realized that the fragments came from a cape.

The cape is one of the finest examples of prehistoric sheet-gold working and is unparalleled in both form and design. It was laboriously beaten out of a single ingot of gold, then embellished with dense decoration of ribs and bosses mimicking strings of beads amid folds of cloth. Perforations along the upper and lower edges indicate that it was once attached to a lining, perhaps of leather, which has decayed away. When worn, the cape covers the upper arms, severely restricting any movement. It would therefore have been unsuitable for everyday wear and was probably used for ceremonial purposes, perhaps as a symbol of religious authority.

Mold gold cape

From Mold, Flintshire, North Wales, c. 1900-1600 BC.
Wt. 560 g.

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