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Viking jewelry

Viking jewelry in Aug. 1 auction comes ready to wear

Viking jewelry
Early Christian pilgrim’s ring, 7th-10th century, size 9, professionally refurbished with the gold overlay restored for contemporary wear. Estimate: $250-$300. Jasper 52 image

NEW YORK – Rings, amulets and pendants dating back to the 8th through the 15th centuries – many of them made and worn by Vikings – will be sold in a Jasper52 auction on Wednesday, Aug. 1. The symbolic meaning in their shapes often embodies the great strength of Viking warriors who bore them. Also offered will be jewelry items worn by ancient Romans as well as early Christians. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

An early Christian pilgrim’s ring (above) dating to the 7th–10th centuries bears a motif that is likely a dedication to the cross and the sacrifice it represented (est. $250-$300). Like most of the 90 lots in the auction, it has been professionally refurbished with the gold overlay and restored for contemporary wear.

A foliate trefoil is a popular theme for Viking heart pendants of the 9th–10th centuries. A fine example in the auction (below) is 1 inch wide (estimate: $250-$300).

Viking jewelry
Good large Viking heart pendant, 9th-10th century, gilt bronze, just under 1in wide with raised edge defining the heart. Estimate: $250-$300. Jasper 52 image

Because the Vikings were expert navigators, the constellations signified mystery and power. This significance is reflected in a lunar astrological pendant. A gilt bronze example (below) offered in the auction represents the moon in a full three-dimensional form, perhaps alluding to its changing phases (est. $300-$350).

Viking jewelry
Viking lunar/astrological pendant, circa A.D. 900-1000, gilt bronze, over 1¼ in high. Estimate: $300-$350. Jasper 52 image

Coil rings were often worn by Vikings. A 10th-century coil ring in the auction has four full coils and a $250-$300 estimate.

Viking jewelry
Fine Viking coil ring, 10th century, gilt bronze, size 10¾. Estimate: $250-$300.

Dating to 300-100 B.C. is a Roman amulet that would have been worn by an augur, a sorcerer (est. $400-$500).

Viking jewelry
Roman sorcerer’s amulet, circa 300-100 B.C., gilt bronze, 5/8in high. Estimate: $400-$500. Jasper 52 image

A Roman good luck amulet (below) with ties to the goddess Fortuna dates to A.D. 100-350 (est. $150-$200).

Viking jewelry
Roman good luck amulet, A.D. 100-350, 1in high, gilt bronze. Estimate: $150-$200. Jasper 52 image

Among the highlights of this collection is a gleaming silver Byzantine pilgrim cross.

The Jasper52 auction will begin Wednesday, Aug. 1, at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

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