NEW YORK – Jewelry that was created generations before your great-grandparents appeared on the scene isn’t just alluring or beautiful. Nor are these pieces mere baubles. See them with the right mindset, and they become vehicles for time travel. Jewelry from Roman, Viking, and medieval times show us how styles endure and change, and how the drive to adorn the body with art made from precious metal links us to people we can never otherwise know.
On July 28, kicking off at 2 pm Eastern time, Jasper52 will stage an 135-lot auction of Viking, Ancient, & Medieval Jewelry. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
First up among the sale highlights is a Roman fibula, a type of garment pin that could be called the forerunner of the safety pin. Fashioned from bronze, the fibula takes a form most commonly used in the Roman military, but its delicate proportions indicate that it was made for a woman. Measuring almost two inches long and dating to circa 50 BCE to circa 50, it is estimated at $50-$75.
Representing the Viking era is a circa-900 pendant of pure silver in the form of a heart, or trefoil. Obviously, we do not know which artisan brought it into being, but it is possible to determine it was made using the open face mold technique. According to the lot notes, “The heart stood for bravery, fortitude, loyalty, integrity, all attributes of the Viking warrior.” The next wearer will not be required to prove he or she possesses all these qualities before donning it; all that is needed is a winning bid. The silver Viking pendant is estimated at $275-$350.
The final highlight is described as a “sorcerer’s ring” and dates to between the eighth and eleventh centuries. “Sorcerer,” in this instance, refers to someone who practiced a pagan faith. This well-preserved example features raised edge and deep relief decoration and has been professionally refurbished and had its 24K gold overlay restored. It carries an estimate of $250-$300.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/