NEW YORK – Viking jewelry—warrior’s rings, sorcerer’s amulets and heart pendants—are mixed with ancient Roman and medieval Christian jewelry in a Jasper52 online auction on Wednesday, May 23. Many of the items date back to the eighth century through 10th century when Vikings roamed both sea and land. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
A Viking lunar/astrological pendant (above) from around the 10th century represents the moon in a full three-dimensional form. Lunar pendants were worn as pectorals as well as suspended from a belt. Like most of the lots in this auction, this gilt bronze piece has been professionally refurbished with the gold surface restored.
A classic Viking coil ring (below) having five full coil spans measures nearly one-half inch wide. Made by the lost wax process, the coil form was popular in Viking culture.
The heart stood for bravery, fortitude, loyalty, integrity—all attributes of the Viking warrior. It is abundantly referenced in Viking literature. This Jasper52 Viking jewelry auction contains more than a dozen heart pendants.
A Roman sorcerer’s ring in the auction dates to around the second century B.C. This type of ring was worn by an augur, a religious official who observed natural signs, especially the behavior of birds, and interpreted these as an indication of divine approval or disapproval of a proposed action.
Fortuna, the embodiment of the concept of luck and good fortune in ancient Rome, was represented as a woman and symbolically as the wheel of fortune and cornucopia. A 1-inch-long Roman good luck amulet in the auction depicts a cornucopia.
Before the Roman invasion of the British Isles, rings of bronze, silver and gold were used as a means of exchange. Most exchanges of goods and property were conducted by barter based on shrewd evaluations in each specific situation. Some exchanges needed to be more accurately quantified. These rings fulfilled that need as well as providing a palpable demonstration of value. A Celtic prosperity ring necklace, 400-100 B.C., is silvered bronze on a modern chain
Another highlight of this collection is a gleaming silver Byzantine pilgrim cross (est. $360-$480).
This Jasper52 auction will be May 23 starting at 8 p.m. Eastern time.