Ok, I admit it, I have started to get caught up in the world of ‘Game of Thrones’. The costumes and jewellery have got me salivating, not to mention Khal Drogo, Chiefton of the Dothraki people. They don’t come much more gorgeous than that, sigh…but I digress…
Now, where was I? Oh, yes the costumes, the jewellery…sparked my imagination and got me thinking about the Vikings, whom I imagine wore similar outfits to some of the characters.
The Vikings were a pretty fierce bunch who were around from approx. 800 to 1050 AD. They loved to sail around in big ships conquering people and places but they were also skilled tradesmen and craftsmen and had some major talent in the jewellery gene pool. Like their forefathers before them their jewellery not only showed their wealth but was also thought to offer them protection and carried symbolic meaning.
For example the brooch above in the form of a bird of prey is thought to represent Odin, the Norse god of Was and Battle.
This necklace from 600 B.C. was found in a Danish bog. Location: Copenhagen, Denmark. Photographer: SISSE BRIMBERG/National Geographic Stock
Formed Viking Neck Piece:
Viking Gold Ring with Punched Triangles 10th-11th century AD . A cast finger ring with expanding hoop and raised median band, the outer face impressed with punchmarks, each a triangle with pellets in the corners.
Late Anglo-Saxon period. The ring is of a type that is associated with the Vikings, and was popular during the 9th and 10th centuries AD.
Early Medieval Viking gold finger ring, 9th-10th century. The ring is substantially gold and consists of a broad, punch-decorated band tapering sharply at each end to wire terminals which were originally twisted together.
Sea Urchin Fossil pendant:
Stamped Triangle Pendant:
If this has inspired any of you to know more about the Vikings and their history, your in luck as the British Museum is holding a major exhibition: Vikings: Life and Legend until June 22nd, which includes a 37 metre long warship.
I’m off to bed to, hopefully, dream of a certain Dothraki Chieftain…x