Northern Europe, Viking / Norse culture, ca. 9th to 10th century CE. A remarkably-preserved iron sword, topped with a symmetrical pommel that looks like a towering cloud. Viking swords had heavy, double-sided iron blades that needed to be balanced with equally heavy handles and pommels. Using Petersen's typology (1919), the pommel appears to be a Type S, which was made from ca. 900 to 950 CE and is found throughout Scandinavia. Comes with custom stand. Size: 29.75" L x 2" W x 1" H (75.5 cm x 5.1 cm x 2.5 cm); height on stand: 2.5" (6.4 cm). (70.3 g)
A Viking's sword was a hugely valuable object, passed down through families as an heirloom, and probably the most expensive item that an individual could own. For example, from the hundreds of items found in Viking burials in Iceland, only sixteen are swords; they are more common in other parts of the Viking world, especially in Norway, but were still a high-status item. A sword given by King Haakon the Good (King of Norway from 934 to 961 CE) to the Icelander Hoskuldur in the Laxdaela Saga was worth a half mark of gold, or the value of sixteen dairy cows, which was a tremendous sum for the time.
Provenance: ex-private Green collection, York, United Kingdom
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