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Viking Objects

Reproduction Square Mammen Brooch

This reproduction brooch is based on a small number of Mammen-style brooches found in England. Three rectangular brooches of this type are known from Linwood, Lincolnshire, West Stow Heath, Suffolk, and Bergh Apton, Norfolk, with further examples found in Cambridgeshire and East Anglia in 2015 and 2016. It is a type which has Carolingian-inspired shapes and Scandinavian decoration, which seem to have been produced in the Danelaw, and was an accessory for women who wore Scandinavian dress. Scandinavian brooches came in a variety of sizes and shapes which included disc, trefoil, lozenge, equal-armed, and oval shapes. The different brooch types served a variety of functions in Scandinavian female dress with oval brooches typically being used as shoulder clasps for apron-type dresses and the rest being used to secure an outer garment to an inner shift. Anglo-Saxon brooches do not match this diversity of form with large disc brooches being typical of ninth century dress styles with smaller ones becoming more popular in the later ninth and tenth centuries. However, since disc brooches were used by both Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian women they are distinguished by their morphology. Scandinavian brooches were typically domed with a hollow back while Anglo-Saxon brooches were usually flat. Moreover, Anglo-Saxon brooches were worn singly without accompanying accessories.

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Viking Objects

Reproduction Equal-Armed Brooch

A reproduction of an equal-armed brooch in the Borre style found in Nottinghamshire. This style of brooch is known from Birka in Sweden, suggesting trade contacts or individuals from Birka arriving in the East Midlands. Brooches were a typical part of female dress. Scandinavian brooches came in a variety of sizes and shapes which included disc, trefoil, lozenge, equal-armed, and oval shapes. The different brooch types served a variety of functions in Scandinavian female dress with oval brooches typically being used as shoulder clasps for apron-type dresses and the rest being used to secure an outer garment to an inner shift. Anglo-Saxon brooches do not match this diversity of form with large disc brooches being typical of ninth century dress styles with smaller ones becoming more popular in the later ninth and tenth centuries. However, since disc brooches were used by both Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian women they are distinguished by their morphology. Scandinavian brooches were typically domed with a hollow back while Anglo-Saxon brooches were usually flat. Moreover, Anglo-Saxon brooches were worn singly without accompanying accessories.

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Viking Designs

Drawing of a Polyhedral Weight

This drawing is of a polyhedral weight of a type that the Vikings adopted from Middle Eastern cultures and brought back to Europe with them. These weights are very common on Viking Age sites.

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Viking Objects

Tongue-Shaped Strap-End (DENO-1268B3)

An incomplete, copper-alloy strap-end with anthropomorphic designs. These types of strap-ends were popular in both Scandinavia and on the Carolingian continent between the 9th and 10th centuries and were regularly used to embellish baldrics. Strap-ends came in various styles and were fairly common throughout the Viking world. They were used to decorate the ends of belts and to stop them getting damaged.

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Viking Objects

Sword Pommel (NARC-E7AAF4)

An  Anglo-Scandinavian copper-alloy sword pommel classed as a Petersen L type VI.  The design is a fusion of Anglo-Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon fashions. In many cases the design of the sword pommel is the only method of identifying the possible type and date of the sword it was attached to.

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Viking Objects

Jellinge-Style Disc Brooch (LIN-F00E1B)

This Viking cast copper-alloy disc brooch is decorated with a Jellinge-style moulded zoomorphic motif comprising a knot of beaded lines. Brooches of this type are widespread in Scandinavia, with a particular concentration at Birka, the trading and military site in Sweden. 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

Copper-Alloy Disc Brooch (LEIC-782CD2)

This Anglo-Scandinavian copper-alloy disc brooch has small traces of silvering on both surfaces. It is decorated in Borre-style interlaced knotwork matching the East Anglian type II. 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

Zoomorphic Strap-End (SWYOR-B89D43)

This Thomas Type A strap-end is decorated with zoomorphic designs and what seems to be a face which may fall into the Trewhiddle style. There is some trace evidence of silver plating. Strap-ends came in various styles and were fairly common throughout the Viking world. They were used to decorate the ends of belts and to stop them getting damaged.

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Viking Objects

Stirrup Mount (LEIC-AF8883)

This copper-alloy stirrup-strap mount is decorated with an unusual geometric pattern with incised lines running across its surface. It has been classified as a Williams Class A Type 8, but is probably a hybrid.

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Viking Objects

Scabbard Fitting (LIN-3DE8C7)

This chape, proabably meant for a knife scabbard, has an openwork abstract zoomorphic form representing a winged beast in profile.

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Viking Objects

Forged Hack-gold Rod (CM 595-2010)

This forged hack-gold rod comprises a curved section of gilt copper-alloy. It is square in cross-section and is broken at both ends. It shows that someone near Torksey was trying to con others by passing copper-alloy as gold. Like hacksilver, hack-gold was used to pay for items by weight of precious metal. The buyer and seller would agree the value of an item and pieces of silver or gold would have been cut up and weight out until the right amount had been paid. Gold was much less common among the Vikings than silver.

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