Northern Europe, Viking culture, ca. 8th to 10th century CE. A striking, heavy solid silver bracelet (98% silver) with deeply incised, serpent-like wavy lines on its face and a relief serpent at its center. The terminals are stamped with classic Viking motifs of dots and other stamped geometric shapes. The serpent form may relate to the Norse myth of Jormungandr (Jormungand), the Midgard Serpent, a child of Loki and a giantess who according to legend grew so large that it was able to surround the earth and grasp its own tail, forming an ouroboros. Size: 3.2" W x 1" H (8.1 cm x 2.5 cm); silver is 98% pure; total weight: 141.8 grams
According to legend, when it releases its tail, Ragnarok, the final battle of the gods that will result in Earth becoming completely covered in water, will begin. One of the most popular motifs in Norse art concerns the story of Thor and Jörmungandr. In classic Thor style, he sets off on a reckless fishing expedition, taking the head of an ox as his bait, and sails further out to sea than he should. With a large hook and the ox head, he catches Jormungandr, who surfaces, poison and blood dripping from his mouth. Thor's fishing companion, the giant Hymir, quickly cuts Thor's line before he can slay the serpent with his hammer and Jormungandr sinks beneath the waves, the threat at bay - for the moment. Multiple Viking picture stones have been found depicting this story, including one from as early as the late 8th century. This serpent bracelet may recall that story.
Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection, purchased in the 1980s in the Kaliningrad region (now Konigsberg, Russia)
All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.
A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.
We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.