Viking Age textiles

Drop spindle whorl decorated with runic letters

Drop spindle whorl decorated with runic letters

In a previous post I looked at some of the textile-related (and actual textiles!) from Iceland’s Viking / Settlement Age while discussing Needle Coiling / Nålbinding. This post will be about some of the other textile-related finds at the National Museum in Iceland.

The spindle whorl above is from Hruni in south Iceland. “It is inscribed with runes which read: I belong to þóra. In the early 13th century a certain þóra was mistress of Hruni; she is mentioned in Sturlunga saga”. Continue reading

Viking locks and keys

Keys in the Iceland National Museum's "Medieval" area (vs. Viking age)

Keys in the Iceland National Museum’s “Medieval” area (vs. Viking age)

As I’m getting close to the end of my photos from my trip to Iceland to share with you, I’m looking at a few more photos that aren’t necessarily clothing related – but might be interesting to anyone interested in Viking-Age history… or in this case, both Viking Age and Medieval Iceland.

This first display (above and below) is from the Medieval area, including some keys. Continue reading

Early Christian Viking artifacts

"Wolf head hammer" from the Iceland National Museum

“Wolf head hammer” from the Iceland National Museum

My next post from the Iceland National Museum is another that isn’t quite directly related to costumes, but still pretty neat…

This display was all about the transition from Paganism to Christianity in Icleand. Iceland had a fairly different transition than a lot of other places in the Nordic world, and the display discussed that many Icelanders probably continued their pagan practices although they had also taken the Christian faith. The display elaborated that “occasionally Christian items are found in pagan graves; this may indicate that they were seen simply as ornaments, or that people were ambivalent about their beliefs”. It also said that it took some time for the Christian church to aquire paraphernalia in Iceland, and so there are very few artifacts from the early Christian days in Iceland. Continue reading

Saga Museum gift shop

I’ve already showed off some of the beads, needle cases, and festoons available from the Saga Museum gift shop but I thought I’d do a super-quick post showing off a few of the other items they had available.

A few jewelry items from the Saga Museum gift shop

A few jewelry items from the Saga Museum gift shop

Included in their display cabinet were wire bracelets (torc-style bracelets) round domed brooches, large ornate buckles, small brooches, strap/belt ends, penannular brooches, tri-lobed/trifoil brooches, pagan-style pendants, Jelling-style brooches, religious/spiritual pendants, and more.  I looked at a few of the prices that I could easily see, and they were too high for me to consider looking too much at or asking to see anything. (For instance, the small bronze penannular brooch in the middle below was 7800kr – about the equivalent of $78.00 Canadian.

Brooches from the Saga Museum gift shop

Brooches from the Saga Museum gift shop

Sagamuseum – The Saga Museum
www.sagamuseum.is/
Grandagarður, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
+354 511 1517

Viking brooches – penannular

 

Illustration in a book explaining different Viking Age brooches

Illustration in a book explaining different Viking Age brooches

I’ve shown you photographs from some of the museum brooch exhibits from Iceland over the past few posts. Today I’m going to show off the last group; penannular brooches.

trifoil/tri-lobe brooches
 round brooches
U
rnes & Jelling style brooches

Penannular Brooches

In the photo above, a man has a Penannular brooch securing his cloak on one shoulder. For an in-depth look at what this illustration shows, please visit my previous post, on tortoise brooches.

The display in the Saga Museum, the male figure has a penannular brooch securing his cloak as well.

penannular brooch on the figure at the Saga Museum

penannular brooch on the figure at the Saga Museum

The display below isn’t dated, but the horns in the background are from the 15-17th centuries, however the display also includes rings, pendants, and penannular brooches. Continue reading

Viking brooches – Urnes, Jelling, and others

Authentic finds of scroll-like brooches at the Iceland National Museum

Authentic finds of scroll-like brooches at the Iceland National Museum

In my previous post I showed off trifoil/tri-lobe brooches, and round brooches. In today’s post I’ll show off some of the Urnes style brooches from the 11th century from the Iceland National Museum along with a few others.

Urnes style brooches

 

An assortment of brooches in the Iceland National Museum.

An assortment of brooches in the Iceland National Museum.

I shared this photo in my last post – and on the right side is the Urnes style brooches displayed at the top of the post.  These are from the 11th century, and the museum describes them as one made of silver while the other is gilt bronze. Continue reading

Viking brooches – round brooches

 

An assortment of brooches in the Iceland National Museum.

An assortment of brooches in the Iceland National Museum.

In my previous post I showed off trifoil/tri-lobe brooches, and in today’s post I’ll show off some of the round brooches from the Iceland National Museum.

Round Brooches

The first group of round brooches, shown at the top of this page and below are included in a display: “Most of the earliest jewelry is ornamented similarly to that from Viking Age Scandinavia. The most frequent finds are women’s brooches, which were used to fasten the over-tunics at the shoulders.”
The four round brooches below, (in the middle under the trifoil brooches) are just listed as “in the Nordic style” and the display didn’t include locations or dates for the finds. Continue reading