NEW YORK – Viking warriors roamed northern Europe from the eighth to late 11th centuries. While gaining much notoriety as raiders, they were also farmers, traders and explorers, and the craftsmanship seen in their jewelry demonstrates considerable artistic skill. Jasper52 will present an online auction of nearly 100 lots of authentic Viking and medieval jewelry on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
Included are rings, sorcerer’s amulets and pendants that hold symbolic meaning in their shapes, often embodying the great strength of Viking warriors who wore them.
Toward the top of the auction catalog is a Viking warrior’s ring (above) in gilt bronze from the 10th century. The design is a refinement of the coil form that was very popular. This size 9 ½ ring has a $375-$500 estimate.
Another fine Viking men’s ring from the ninth or 19th centuries is in the shape of a shield. This gilt bronze ring features a triple bordered oval bezel with two primary transverse bands flanked by a field of smaller bands. It has an overlapping prong band which is typical of rings of this type.
As expert navigators and astrologers, Vikings had intimate knowledge of the sun, moon and stars, as evidenced by this lunar eclipse pendant, circa A.D. 850-1050. It has a typical crescent form with a delicately roped upper edge and raised banded lower edge. The field on each side has three raised figures of the crescent being formed by a superimposed circle, an unmistakable representation of an eclipse as the whole sun is depicted in front of the moon. Estimated at $825-$1,100, this amulet undoubtedly held great spiritual significance to Vikings.
Heart-shaped pendants are also popular Viking jewelry forms. One example in the Jasper52 auction is nearly 1 inch wide. Its field is a well-detailed foliate trefoil.
From a faraway war comes a Jerusalem cross pendant that was worn by a Crusader 800 to 1,000 years ago. The silvered bronze cross is expected to sell for $360-$480.
The auction also features a well-preserved English Tudor wedding ring from the 16th century. This gilt bronze ring, size 8 ¾, dates to the era of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. It has a flared band and a raised oval bezel (est. $180-$240).
Professionally refurbished and ready for modern wear, these jewelry pieces are enriched with history as well as beauty.
The Jasper52 online auction will be held Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. Eastern.