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Viking Glass, Stone, Bronze Beaded Necklace

Northern Europe, Russia, Viking / Kievan Rus, ca. 800 to 1000 CE. An incredibly unique necklace made from fifty-two Viking beads of glass (34), quartz (17), and carnelian (1), with a central, large bronze pendant with two dangling cast bronze, webbed bird feet.The beads are a delightful variety of shapes and colors, including two black and yellow millefiori beads. Others include white, purple, and deep ochre quartz, blue glass with iridescent and pearlescent patinas, and the lone round carnelian bead, which glows a semi-translucent orange with red interior bands. Wearable with sterling silver findings, this will absolutely spark conversation! Length of strand: 20" L (50.8 cm); size of pendant: 1.4" W x 2.65" H (3.6 cm x 6.7 cm)

The pendant is of a style associated with the Perm Animal Style, which flourished in western Siberia and drew influence from contacts with the Vikings. We believe that these items were hung from hunting belts and later buried with their owners. Birds seem to have been very significant in this culture, with their heads often serving as protective features on human figures and their dangling feet often depicted on rustling, jangling artifacts like this one.

By 800 CE, the Vikings were trading across a huge area, from the islands of the North Atlantic (the first glass beads known from North America appear to have come from the Viking trading post at L'anse aux Meadow, Newfoundland) to northern Russia and the Islamic world; glass beadmaking was a standard in many of the regions they visited, and so they returned home and established beadmaking workshops in Scandinavia and traded them at the great trading emporia / wics like Hedeby and Birka. Beads were often worn as festoons strung between oval brooches, though sometimes also as necklaces.

Condition: All of the beads have patina and light areas of wear on their surface. The bronze pendant has smooth, dark green patina on its surface. Modern stringing.

Provenance: private Orange County, California, USA collection

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

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