Rare Viking Iron Shield Boss 8th-10th Century
6 7/8" diameter with flared base pierced for mounting rivets, tapered body raising just under an inch and low conical top. Forged from a single piece and according in detail with documented examples in public collections. Nearly as large as a European buckler (see our Catalog 89 #726 measuring 8 1/2"), it was originally mounted on the face of a round wood shield measuring about 30" diameter with iron band rim. Those iconic shields were as shown mounted on the sides of the long ships and carried by every Viking in battle. Being wood, only a few fragmentary bodies have survived and second to a Viking helmet, the shield bosses rank among the rarest and most important of Viking artifacts. Rusted from burial, the entire raised dome umbo, is intact with damage only to the base flange.