Northern Europe, Viking/Norse culture, ca. 9th to 12th century CE, probably later in the period. A rare find, a silver pendant with a round loop for suspension and a flat shank with a cast and stamped motif. The pendant is in the form of a hammer, similar in form to a Thor's hammer, with a wolf head projecting from either side of the hammer. The surface of the hammer is stamped with triangular and circular motifs with granulations inside of them. The wolves' heads are finely detailed, with snarling faces, small eyes, and incised fur. A thin ring is through the loop for suspension. The two wolf heads here may reference Skoll and Hati, magical wolf creatures who chased the horses that dragged the chariots containing the sun and moon through the sky. They are the children of Fenrir, who was in turn the son of the god Loki. Size of pendant: 1.5" W x 3.25" H (3.8 cm x 8.3 cm); cord is 27" L (68.6 cm); 27.5 grams
The Vikings created jewelry made of silver, copper, and gold that was rich with symbolism; many of these items, found in graves, hoards, and domestic contexts, tell mythological stories.
Provenance: private New York, USA collection
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