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Important Viking Silver Bracelet - 47.4 grams

Northern Europe, Viking / Norse culture, ca. 8th to 11th century CE. A heavy, hammered silver bracelet with its ends formed into wires that wrap around each other and at one time allowed the width of the bracelet to be adjusted (they are now frozen in place). The exterior face of the bracelet is stamped with repeated and regular triangles, each with low granulations within its form. The stamped triangle pattern seems to have been very popular in the Viking world, although its meaning is unknown. Size: 3.1" W x 0.5" H (7.9 cm x 1.3 cm); 47.4 grams

A piece such as this would have been made in a specialized workshop centered around a hearth, probably using the lost wax casting technique. The important Viking metalworking shops correspond to their great trading ports and proto-urban centers - Birka, Helgo, Sigtuna, and Lund in Sweden, Ribe, Haithabu (Hedeby), and Fyrkat in Denmark, and Kaupang and Trondheim in Norway. Silver was the principal currency of the Viking world, which stretched from Russia to northern Canada at the height of their influence. In many places, the Vikings kept silver not as coins, but as jewelry, a wearable currency form that was not subject to the authority of a monarch or mint. One of the most common archaeological finds from the Viking period is a hoard of metal objects, often buried in the earth or deposited in bodies of water, like river beds.

Condition: Excellent dark patina on surface. Very nicely preserved detail. Wearable but the wires for adjusting size are frozen in place. The interior and exterior show signs of wear commensurate with age.

Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection

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