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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 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

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 Designs

Drawing of Copper Alloy Disc Brooch

Drawing of a copper alloy, gilded brooch with a zoomorphic design. 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 Objects

Carolingian Trefoil Mount (LEIC-C5F14A)

This Carolingian trefoil mount has holes drilled through it for affixing to a surface, possibly a book. It is likely to have been brought from the European continent by Viking raiders or traders.

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Viking Designs

Drawing of an Equal-Armed Brooch

Drawing of a Viking Age equal-armed brooch based on fragments found at Harworth Bircotes, Nottinghamshire and reconstructed based on parallels from Birka, 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

Enamel Copper-Alloy Brooch (DENO-6C0D22)

This composite cast copper-alloy and enamel gilded brooch displays both Anglo-Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon characteristics. The decorative enamel centre of the brooch was fabricated using a method known as cloisonné which involves the use of inlaid enamel cells, separated by strips of copper alloy, within an outer ring of copper alloy, all set upon a flat circular disc of copper alloy. The sides of the decorative roundel are surrounded with an upright strip of gilded copper alloy. The design of the enamel centre features a blue-green central quatrefoil, four cells which are shaped like elongated teardrops filled with red enamel giving the appearance of a cross motif, and four larger sub-rectangular cells filled with deep blue enamel. The brooch has been classified as Weetch Type 20. 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 Gilt Brooch (1989-58/7224)

A circular silver gilt plate brooch with chip carved decoration of a winged creature. The creature may be a griffin. It is enmeshed in fine spiralling interlace. The reverse features a U-shaped catchplate and pin with a spring. This decoration is Mercian in style. 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

Frankish Trefoil Buckle (NLM-60D592)

This cast copper-alloy buckle plate is trefoil in form and has traces of gilding which appear on the display side. The use of tripled domed rivets is similar to Frankish buckle styles introduced from the seventh century, while the use of gilding may relate this to eighth-century styles. It is possible that it made its way to England prior to Viking incursions but it is equally likely that the Vikings brought this buckle with them as plunder after raiding in Frankia.

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Viking Objects

Gilded Mount (1989-59/7591)

A gilded copper-alloy mount with approximately eight projecting pierced lugs. The mount was found in three pieces and is incomplete. It may originally have been domed, but most of the dome is missing. It has been suggested that it was a shield boss.

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