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Viking Objects

Reproduction Hammer-shaped Pendant

A gold hammer-shaped pendant, popularly called a Thor’s hammer pendant, from Spilsby, Lincolnshire. These may have been worn to show devotion to the god Thor, or to secure the god’s protection, although there is little evidence to support this interpretation. Pendants like this have been found made of lead, copper alloy, silver and gold, showing that many different strata of society could have worn them.

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Viking Objects

Samanid Silver Dirham Pendant (LCNCC:2014.16)

An Arabic silver dirham minted c. 905-906 (Hijra 293) for the Samanid ruler, Isma’il ibn Ahmad (849-907), that has subsequently been pierced and gilded so that it could be worn as a pendant. It was probably minted in Balkh, Afghanistan. The Vikings often repurposed items like this. The dirham was a unit of weight used across North Africa, the Middle East, and Persia, with varying values which also referred to the type of coins used in the Middle East during the Viking Age. These coins were extremely prized possessions not only for their silver value but as a way of displaying one’s wealth and vast trade connections. Millions of Arabic dirhams would have been imported throughout the Viking world and are mostly found in hoards.

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Viking Objects

Pendant with an Odin Motif (NLM-7F954A)

A cast silver, gilded pendant featuring an image which has been interpreted as representing the one-eyed god Odin and his two ravens Huginn and Muninn. There are a number of close parallels which establish the wide currency of this subject group. These include numerous examples from Russia and two from Sweden, including some with silver gilding. A silver pendant with a related, but distinct design is known from Sjælland, Denmark. With some exceptions, pendants were generally worn by women as part of their Scandinavian dress.

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Viking Objects

Thor’s Hammer Pendant (1989-59/7224)

A silver hammer-shaped pendant found in Grave 511 at Repton. This is the grave of a man who appears to have died violently, taking a vicious cut to his loins. These may have been worn to show devotion to the god Thor, or to secure the god’s protection, although there is little evidence to support this interpretation. Pendants like this have been found made of lead, copper alloy, silver and gold, showing that many different strata of society could have worn them.

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Viking Objects

Comb Pendant (LIN-DD07D2)

The pendant is decorated with two inturned zoomorphic heads executed in Ringerike-style ornament. These comb-shaped pendants are closely paralleled in the area around the Baltic Sea such as northwest Russia, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania, with rare examples from Estonia and Sweden. Pendants were a popular dress accessory in Norway and Sweden and sometimes were worn with beads between a pair of oval brooches. In England, pendants did not have the same popularity and there do not seem to be any contemporary Anglo-Saxon pendants.

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Viking Objects

Probable Thor’s Hammer Pendant (NLM-1A6811)

These may have been worn to show devotion to the god Thor, or to secure the god’s protection, although there is little evidence to support this interpretation. Pendants like this have been found made of lead, copper alloy, silver and gold, as well as other materials, showing that many different strata of society could have worn them. For more information on Scandinavian jewellery in England check out our blog: Brooches, Pendants and Pins: Scandinavian Dress Accessories in England.

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Viking Objects

Silver Thor’s Hammer Pendant (CM_1841_2008)

This is a high quality hammer-head section of a silver Thor’s hammer pendant. These may have been worn to show devotion to the god Thor, or to secure the god’s protection, although there is little evidence to support this interpretation. Pendants like this have been found made of lead, copper alloy, silver and gold, showing that many different strata of society could have worn them. For more information on Scandinavian jewellery in England check out our blog: Brooches, Pendants and Pins: Scandinavian Dress Accessories in England.

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Viking Objects

Lead Thor’s Hammer Pendant (CM_569_2010)

A lead Thor’s hammer pendant with a trapezoidal head and pierced base. These may have been worn to show devotion to the god Thor, or to secure the god’s protection, although there is little evidence to support this interpretation. Pendants like this have been found made of lead, copper alloy, silver and gold, showing that many different strata of society could have worn them. For more information on Scandinavian jewellery in England check out our blog: Brooches, Pendants and Pins: Scandinavian Dress Accessories in England.

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Viking Objects

Bird Pendant (DENO-55AE35)

A pendant of similar shape although with different decoration is dated to the second half of the ninth century from Yaroslavl, Russia. The bird symbol, very similar to the one depicted on this pendant, was used by the Rurik dynasty which had started the conquest of Slavic lands in the mid-ninth century and later formed the polity of Rus’. With some exceptions, pendants were generally worn by women as an accessory to Scandinavian dress.

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Viking Objects

Comb Pendant (NARC-B3E1B5)

This pendant is unusual for the British isles and has Eastern Scandinavian or Baltic origin. The pendant is decorated with Ringerike-style zoomorphic openwork ornament with a pair of inturning zoomorphic heads. Pendants were a popular dress accessory in Norway and Sweden and sometimes were worn with beads between a pair of oval brooches. In England, pendants did not have the same popularity and there do not seem to be any contemporary Anglo-Saxon pendants.

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Viking Objects

Copper-Alloy Disc Pendant (NLM-0CA344)

This cast copper-alloy disc pendant has an anthropomorphic design which portrays a facing moustachioed mask. A dark grey coating on front and back may be the degraded remains of a silvered surface. Pendants were a popular dress accessory in Norway and Sweden and sometimes were worn with beads between a pair of oval brooches. For more information on Scandinavian jewellery in England check out our blog: Brooches, Pendants and Pins: Scandinavian Dress Accessories in England.

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