Viking Silver Plaited Bracelet, 10th-12th Century
A Baltic wire bracelet formed with a loosely plaited band hammer-welded at the ends.
On the topic of runes, there is a great little starter book in English regarding the Younger (Viking) Futhark, called ‘A Little Book About The Runes' from Icelandic publishers, Gudrun and written by Björn Jónasson.
It features history, information and sources along with a description of each of the 16 runes including a runic rhyme for each one. This is not an exhaustive or deeply academic read so it may be best for those looking for a light and manageable introduction into the runes of the Viking age.
Two-hand Sword for the Field
- Dated: partly circa 1520-30
- Culture: German
- Measurements: overall length 180 cm. Blade length 132 cm
The strong double-edged blade of flattened hexagonal section is cut with a shallow fuller at the forte and with additional short fullers over the sides of the ricasso. They are formed with a pair of basal lugs, struck with a mark, a flower, both within the fuller and at the base of the lugs on both sides.
The later iron hilt of writhen bars, has straight massive quillons with double inner-and outer-rings, the former with chiselled knop terminals and the latter each interrupted by chiselled mouldings. The sword features a large spirally fluted globular pommel and leather-covered grip formed in two moulded stages.
Silver-Encrusted Swept-Hilt Rapier
- Dated: circa 1610
- Culture: German
- Measurements: overall length 125 cm / 49.2 inches
With a hilt of blackened iron, formed of oval bars, comprising a pair of horizontal quillons, the sword has a pair of arms each supporting an outer-guard of three rings diminishing in size towards the base. The upper two rings are canted towards the pommel, while the largest ring is joined by a branch to the knuckle-guard and the lower ring filled with a sprung-in solid plate.
The inner-guard of four more slender bars splayed from a common root emerging diagonally from the middle of the knuckle-guard, their four opposite ends grouped in twos and joined to the median points and to the heads of the arms respectively, with large gadrooned globular pommel rising to a button over the apex of the blade tang, and moulded wooden grip bound with wire between wire Turk’s heads.
The pommel and the outer surfaces of the bars profusely decorated with silver-encrusted ornament chiselled in low relief and inspired by the published engravings of Etienne Delaune, constructed as spiralling patterns of leafy strawberry tendrils carrying both flowers and fruit, enriched with pellets and framing a series of three cherub masks at the centre of the outer-rings.
The inner surfaces decorated throughout with delicate patterns of scrolling foliage lightly damascened in silver, and the plate set within the base of the outer-guard damascened en suite and involving a hare pursued by two hounds.
The blade of characteristically slender tapering form, of flattened hexagonal section towards the base, with flattened rectangular ricasso, and struck with a series of small decorative marks enclosing a two-part neo-Italian bladesmith’s signature stamped within the fuller on both sides, the outer face stamped “A.N.T.O.N.I.O.” and the inner stamped “P.I.C.I.N.I.N.O.”
Source: Copyright © 2014 Peter Finer