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Large / Fine Ancient Viking Bronze Neck Torc

Northern Europe, Viking / Norse culture, ca. 800 to 1000 CE. A bronze torc (torq/torque) made of a thick bronze wire with two pieces of thinner wire wrapped around it very tightly from each terminal to about halfway down the length of the ring. The terminals are two twisted pieces of bronze wire, one formed into an open "Y" shape and the other with a hook. Wearable if you are careful with it! Size: 9" W (22.9 cm) (neck diameter at widest point)

The Vikings - groups of people who left Scandinavia to plunder and colonize northern Europe (and who travelled as far afield as northeastern North America and the great kingdoms of the Middle East) - had a distinctive artistic tradition, although many of the metals that they had were acquired through conquest and the bronze for this torc likely was melted down from other bronze objects, perhaps some acquired by looting a monastery or trading in the Mediterranean. Bronze jewelry also served as a form of easily transported coinage; this piece would have spoken to the wealth of its owner.

Condition: Mottled dark green and blue-green patina on surface. Tiny break at the end of the wrapped wire near the terminal hook; similar examples have an applied bronze leaf covering the hook, so this may be where that used to be. Wearable but do not bend it too far!

Provenance: private Orange County, California, USA collection

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