This book introduces the reader to the subject of Celtic art by tracing its development in central Europe and its subsequent spread. The indigenous art of central and western Europe, including Ireland, was generally based on simple geometric forms that had been in use from Late Stone Age times. During the sixth and seventh centuries BC classical art began to exert a powerful influence over the work of native craftworkers, and existing themes came to be reinterpreted and reworked by Celtic artists into a dynamic new style. Known as La Tene style, the new art was one of the crowning achievements of Celtic civilisation, and by the third century BC objects bearing distinctive La Tene designs began to appear in Ireland. The principal Celtic artefacts found in Ireland are ornaments such as pins, brooches, bracelets and collars, weapons and horse-trappings, and a variety of decorative bronzes. The splendour of early Celtic art is illustrated in this book mainly by reference to the collection in the National Musuem of Ireland, which ranges from the crudest of objects to those of spectacular beauty and crafstsmanship.