When I first started planning a 3-day mini-holiday to Sweden, I knew that I wanted to tie in a little bit of Jacobsthal-related research while I was there. Unfortunately, Jacobsthal didn’t include any Swedish artefacts in Early Celtic Art. Looking at correspondence from the 1930’s that we have between Jacobsthal and Holger Arbman, the curator of the Historiska Museet, the only artefacts that Jacobsthal specifically requested information about were the Eskelhem horse trappings.
We’re slowly cataloguing our images from the Jacobsthal archive (see this blog post) and haven’t yet found any of the horse trappings. However, I thought that it would be nice to see the artefacts in person and take photos for reference.
I headed straight for the Historiska Museet’s prehistoric exhibition galleries to track down the trappings. Each gallery has its own guide in English, and when I picked up the guide to the Bronze Room, it seemed like my search had come to an end!
Although I had never seen the Eskelhem horse trappings before, I was fairly certain that nothing in this case had anything to do with horses. I searched the rest of the prehistoric galleries hoping that the horse trappings had been moved to a different case, but I couldn’t find them. I enlisted the help of two museum guides who knew nothing about the Eskelhem trappings being moved; even a search in the museum’s database turned up nothing. The trappings must have been removed for research or conservation. I felt rather disappointed at coming so close but not seeing them, but as I saw many other fantastic artefacts, I really can’t complain.
Other prehistoric artefacts with familiar Celtic motifs that I did manage to see: