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Single strand interlace

Object number: ROMGH.1998.24.1

Type: Poster

Material: Ballpoint pen, Crayon, Paper

Width: 83.5cm | Height: 53cm

Production date: 1948 - 1968

 Yes you can     No you cannot
Use the same Celtic patterns in your art and craft work Yes
Use this design for commercial purposes without the permission of the Copyright holder No
Commercially reproduce this object without the permission of the Copyright holder No

Bain draws this mosaic from St Albans to show a very simple interlace border from Roman Britain. His drawing to the left shows how to ensure the border has only a single, continuous, interlaced strand. This is the method also used by the Picts.

The diagram shows the 13.14.14.14 spacing used in the mosaic in his outer diagram. This is perfect as it only uses one strand. He contrasts it with what happens if all sides are spaced at 14 units. His inner drawing shows that it results in four strands.

Bain speculates that the Romano-British mosaic designer was interested in a secure enclosure for the lion. The Picts had very different reasons for using the single strand design. They applied it on Christian monuments and in Christian manuscripts to symbolise eternity. 

Author: Alastair Morton

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