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Fresh Waves of Viking Jewelry

Jumping on the recent trend in auctions, authentic Viking Age jewelry along with medieval and Byzantine pieces have been curated in this week’s unique jewelry auction. Rings, amulets, pendants, and bracelets that hold symbolic meaning in their shapes, often embodying the great strength of Viking warriors who bore them, are being offered in this collection. Professionally refurbished and ready for wear, these pieces of gilt bronze jewelry are enriched with history as well as beauty.

To the Vikings, who were expert seafarers and navigators, the constellations signified mystery and power. A dazzler in the collection is a Viking lunar pendant from the ninth or 10th century, fashioned as the crescent moon.

Ancient Viking lunar pendant circa A.D. 900-1000, gilt bronze, nearly 1/2 in. high, fashioned as the crescent moon. Estimate: $135-$150. Jasper52 image

 

Another lunar pendant in the auction is an elongated crescent with terminals representing Sol and Mani (sun and moon) connected by a wave motif representing the sea. Lunar pendants were often worn as pectorals as well as suspended from belts and clothing.

Ancient Viking lunar pendant, circa A.D. 800-900, gilt bronze, 1 1/2 in. wide, elongated crescent with terminals representing the sun and moon, connected by a wave motif representing the sea. Estimate: $200-$225. Jasper52 image

 

Another highlight in this collection is a 10th century Viking C-form bracelet decorated with a continuous diamond motif.

Tenth-century Viking bracelet, gilt bronze, hand cut with continuous diamond motif. Estimate: $300-$300. Jasper52 image

 

Ancient Romans were also seafarers and understood the bond between dolphins and sailors, and many tales of dolphin rescues and assistance have been recorded. A second-century Roman pendant being offered represents a bottle-nosed dolphin. At least one fibula (decorative garment pin) with the body of a dolphin very similar to this is known. This example may well have been worn en suite with a matching fibula.

Roman dolphin pendant, second century, gilt bronze, 2 1/8 in. long. Estimate: $600-$700. Jasper52 image

 

Another rare Roman piece is a key ring, A.D. 300-500. Its narrow flat band was made with an intricately toothed key projection. These rings were used to open jewelry boxes, the ownership of which was prestigious. As a result, many were made for show only and worn where no such box existed.

Roman key ring, A.D. 300-500, gilt bronze, size 10 1/4. Estimate: $230-$260. Jasper52 image

 

Representing medieval times is a Spanish pendant that would have been worn by a woman. An inch in diameter, the delicately pierced radial splay of globes on stalks, finely chased and polished, surround a raised bezel with original clear glass or stone mount.

Woman’s pendant, Spanish, circa 1450, gilt bronze, 1 in. diameter, finely chased and polished, surround a raised bezel with original clear glass or stone mount. Estimate: $250-$275. Jasper52 image

 

This collection is filled with unique treasures, sure to strike any fancy. Take a look at the full catalog and discover your own treasure.