Vikings in BC – brooches part 2

Close up on the oval brooch

Close up on the oval brooch

Today I have even more pictures for you from the Vikings in BC exhibit, focused on brooches from a few different displays.

This is another image-heavy post, so I’m separating brooch-related posts into a few posts.

This post is largely from a display discussing how brooches showed differences in fashion. The display stated:

“During the 9th and 10th centuries, Scandinavian women of high status often wore gilded brooches and colourful beaded embroidery. They usually wore oval brooches in pairs, joined by rows of beads, with a third brooch below the neck. The brooches also signalled regional identity and some areas had their own distinct styles. On the island of Gotland, in present-day Sweden, two triangular brooches, in the shape of an animal’s head, were combined with a box-shaped brooch.”

The equal-armed brooch is made of bronze and iron, and the artefact included a piece of textile as well. This was listed as “significant for the Swedish mainland” and was a grave find from Birka.

The tortoise brooches are made of bronze, gilded, iron, “white metal” and the find included textile material as well. The display stated that they were used “to hold up a woollen overdress”. This was also a grave find from Birka.

The animal-head brooches are made of bronze, silver, and gold and the display states that they were “worn in pairs on the chest of women’s clothing. Distinctive to Gotland”. This was a Gotland grave find.

The box-shaped brooch is made of silver and bronze, and was “used to hold together a cloak, scarf, or coat. Found exclusively on Gotland.” This was a Gotland grave find as well.

The beads in this display are listed from Birka and Gotland respectively. The ones from Birka are glass beads, while the Gotland example is glass with three beads made of gold.

Animal-head brooches with a multi-strand necklace of beads, a drop-spindle, chains, a key, and a box brooch

Animal-head brooches with a multi-strand necklace of beads, a drop-spindle, chains, a key, and a box brooch

This display also had animal-head brooches in it, along with beads, chains, rings, a key, a spindle… and more. I’ll discuss this display in an upcoming post.

 

Stay tuned for even more posts from this exhibit!

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