Basse Yutz Flagons


British Museum

British Museum
London, United Kingdom

The flagons are two of the finest examples of Early Celtic or Early La Tène Art from anywhere in Europe. They were made in eastern France, but they copy the shape of bronze flagons made and used by the Etruscans in Italy at this time. The flagons were used for pouring wine, beer or mead at feasts.

The grave where the objects were found was probably that of a very important person. Unfortunately it was dug up illegally, and not by archaeologists. Because of this little information survives about the grave or the other objects it contained.

The flagons are inlaid with precious coral (now faded to white) from the Mediterranean coast, and red enamel (opaque red glass, probably from Asia Minor). They show a mixture of styles: the 'oriental' handles in the form of a dog or wolf was an idea from Greek or Etruscan art, but made in a local style; the palmette decorations under the spouts are a popular Celtic motif, though originally from Egypt, via Greece; the duck at the end of the spout is a purely native element of the decoration.


  • Title: Basse Yutz Flagons
  • Date Created: -450/-400
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 396.00mm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: inlaid; enamelled
  • Subject: bird; dog; mammal
  • Registration number: 1929,0511.1
  • Production place: Made in France
  • Place: Found/Acquired Basse-Yutz
  • Period/culture: Iron Age; La T
  • Material: copper alloy; coral; glass
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Durlacher Bros. With contribution from Art Fund. With contribution from Melchett. With contribution from Szarvasy, F A. With contribution from David, Percival V D E. With contribution from Chester Beatty, Alfred. With contribution from Gulbenkian, Calouste Sarkis. With contribution from Cawdor. With contribution from Green, Lycett. With contribution from Smith, John Hugh. With contribution from Borenius, Tancred

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