[Loch-Ruadh] Fw: [sca-arts] Re: Pre and Viking Age Jewellery Details and Methods in Books

Sat Mar 23 18:42:34 PST 2002

Recieved this from one of the many A&S lists I'm on, and am forwarding it
for those who may be interested.


In the interest of spreading -hard to come by- information
about for the aspiring metalsmiths in our groups:

As part of a (pre 1600) Metalcasting at yahoogroups.com
discussion which started with stamped Viking Age Armbands
probably from Viking Age Ireland: Bracelets/arm bands from
Spillings Farm, Gotland, images hosted on the (Frojel site)
with thousands of others, including a Viking Age metalcasting
class with Anders Soderburg from Sweden held in Australia:

> Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2002
> From: jim klessig
> Actually Prof Carlson runs the dig for part of the summer
> as a field school, part of which the general public is
> invited to attend. (Its part of how the dig is funded)
> So you could go and help dig some artifacts up. He
> is a very helpful and friendly person. It was the only
> way I ever got to see the BACK side of an animal head
> brooch or box brooch.  (Until the Frojel Group put their
> archive up).

http://www.frojel.com/ and links to the Swedish site.
Dan usually excavates ten Viking graves per year in the
short season he has. http://frojel.hgo.se/

I too got curious enough them and I asked Dan Carlsson about
where I could learn more about these Animal Headed Brooches.
The first time I saw them was in the newsletters on the
Viking Heritage / Frojel Excavations site from Sweden and
I found them very intriguing. Most of them resemble a bear
head to me and they are pretty much limited to Gotland in
origin. I've subscribed to Viking Heritage Magazine ever since.
http://frojel.hgo.se/newsletter.html Vol. I, female Viking

It took me a while to run down one as they are out of print
but I got it from http://www.Ronnells.se/ which is the
biggest bookstore in Scandinavia. So now you know where you
might get the book.

Carlsson, Anders: Djurhuvdformiga Spännen och Gotländsk
Vikingatid. Stockholm  Studies in Archaeology 5. Stockholm
1983. 210pp., Illus., 160 Kr.  -The book- on Gotlandic
animal-headed brooches. Animal-Head Brooches of Gotland's
Viking Period) ISBN 9171463275, 7pp bibliography. Stockholm
Universitet Institution för Arkeologi 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.
English Summary pp.127-35. Period covered by these brooches
is early eighth to mid twelfth century.

A Swedish Kronor is now between 9 and 10 cents. When I
ordered it it was about 12 cents U.S. money. Postage from
Sweden is fairly high.

The book's English summary suggests that all of them over a
number of generations may have come from the output of
about one workshop over that time.

The other place you are going to see Animal Headed Brooches,
(and backsides of other jewellery), but not a whole book on
them is the older:
Illustr. Lund 1942-43. 246; 376 pp. 4:o. Tryckt i 500 ex.
(1250:-SK what I paid pre postage) Limited to 500 copies,
printed during WWII. Two Books, paperbound, lots of
illustrations of metalwork, fronts and backs frequently.
Metal Techniques of early or prehistoric time. The range of
objects is Bronze Age to Viking Age.

Thunmark-Nylen, Lena: Die Wikingerzeit Gotlands I,
Abbildungen der Grabfunde; "This volume is therefore only the
first of several on the Viking Age of Gotland. Over 500
photos." (KVHAA Stockholm 1996) Condition: As new. Paperback
ISBN: 9174022415 Book # 16661P Oxbow Price: £ 40.00 (approx.
US$ 56.63 plus postage)
 "This volume provides photos of the grave groups from some 450
Viking graves on Gotland, approximately 40% of the known
excavated graves on the island; illustrated at 1:1 the graves
are arranged in chronological order and by sites. A further
volume will illustrate the finds from the remaining graves
and the two together will provide the basis for a catalogue
and study of the material."

Thunmark-Nylen, Lena: Die Wikingerzeit Gotlands II: Typentafeln
Volume of plates arranged by types of find. Includes an index
concordance which allows the reader to reconstruct associations.
German text. 307 b/w and 8 col pls (Almqvist and Wiksell 1998)
ISBN: 9174022873 Book # 23833P Oxbow Price: £ 43.50
(approx. US$61.58).
If you are interested in Scandinavian brooches and metalwork
you might be interested in the AUN series:

Thunmark-Nylen, Lena: Vikingatida dosspännen - teknisk stratigrafi
och verkstadsgruppering;  (Viking Age Box Brooches - technical
stratigraphy and workshop grouping.) 1983. 152 pp., 122 figs.,
I map, 58 tables. http://www.arkeologi.uu.se/publications/aun/

Waller, Jutta: Dräktnålar och dräktskick i östra Mälardalen;
AUN 23. Kontinuitet och förändring under folkvandringstid och
vendeltid (Dress-pins and style of dress in the eastern Mälar
Valley. Continuity and change during Migration and Vendel periods.
Swedish with English summary.)  Uppsala: Universitetet, Inst.
för arkeologi: 1996. (Aun 23). 211 pp. 84 figs. 32 pls.
[A study of two types of dress-pins: the protuberant pin
(Migration period) and the polyhedral pin (Vendel period).
Early and new finds of pins are set in chronological relation
to one another and to dating evidence from Helgö (Uppland],
the place of manufacture. Both types of pins were in use partly
at the same time, the protuberant pins late 5th and 6th C,
whereas the polyhedral pins came into use c.50 years later.
The two types belong to different cultural spheres. The new
style of dress with polyhedral pins and a pair of brooches can
testify to the origin of the Viking Age dress with shoulder
straps.]  http://www.arkeologi.uu.se/publications/aun/

Anderesson, Kent: Romartida Guldsmide i Norden I, Katalog
(Roman Period Goldwork in the Nordic Countries I,
Catalogue) 1993, 309pp., 146 figures, 6pp.. English Summary,
19pp. bibliography. B&W photos. Department of Archaeology,
Uppsala University, Gustavianum, S-753 10 Uppsala, Sweden.
AUN 17 $35.  http://www.arkeologi.uu.se/publications/aun/

Andersson, Kent: Romartida Guldsmide i Norden III, övriga
smycken teknisk analys och verstadsgrupper; AUN 21.
(Roman Period Goldwork in the Nordic Countries III, 1995,
244pp., 211 figs. ISBN 915061116X, ISSN 02841347.
Department of Archaeology, Uppsala University, Gustavianum,
S-753 10 Uppsala, Sweden. $35.

Volume II sold out and was by the same guy. I don't have
that one.

AUN 13: Samhälle och järn i Sverige - Medieval and earlier
Ironwork. This one shows many furnaces remains, and that is
about -all- it does. Very boring.

Jansson, Ingmar: Ovala Spännbucklor; En studie av vikinatida
standardsmycken med utagångspunkt från Björkö-fynden;
(Oval Brooches, A Study Based on Viking Period Standard
Jewellery based on the finds from Björkö (Birka), Sweden.
238pp., 10 page English Summary, 7 page bibliography,
142 figures (many of these are multiple illustrations).
Also contains some illustrations of Oseberg ship carvings
and some of the Birka combs. This is the book on turtle or
Berdahl Brooches. AUN 7, 1985, ISBN 9150604813.
(#27629)  200 SEK + Postage

When I bought my AUN books I had to pay 200 SEK each plus
postage. Seemed a bit high. Can't remember the total figure.
But at least the price has gone down about 20% in relation to
U.S. dollars. It took the person six weeks to decide they
had time to deal with an order.
Guillaume / <hallh> asked:
> > Does anyone know - on these bracelets/bands, the decoration
> > is chased

Actually it's stamped. Chasing is detailing from the front side
after you've beaten something out from the backside, which is
repousse. I have both kinds of tools and stamping and engraving.
Stamping depresses a design into a heavier item. Chasing and
repoussee are used on sheet metal to move it around to make
a more 3 dimensional surface. The silver bracelets are much

> > but do you think the blanks were cast to size or forged into
> > shape from a cast ingot?  Does it look like the chasing was
> > done before or after it was made circular?

Depends on what you're bending/hitting it with. Wood usually
is not hard enough to leave an impression in thick metal.
Neither is a horn or rawhide hammer. I've never heard of/seen a
period rawhide hammer though. Offhand I would say it might have
been done either way. Generally I would assume beforehand,
although anvils from the Bronze Age and later often had round
horns and you could stamp a curved item on them.

Antique Jewellery, Its Manufacture, Materials, and Design;
by Duncan James; A Shire book, was Old Jewellery 1988,
republished with addtional illustrations 1998, 120pp.,
ISBN 0747803854, £9.99 / $21.20. Superb, illustrates many
cuts for faceting, various soldering techniques including
older, various cabochon and layering techniques, engraving
and carving, fineness of various gold alloys, rolling sheet
and wires, pitch bowls for repousse, dapping, stamping,
filligree, setting stones and pearls, styles of pins,
chains, clasps, granulation, enamelling and cloisonne,
champlev'e, pique point, niello, plique work, mosaic work,
and inlay, old tools, settings, hallmarks.

Bronze Age Metalwork in England and Wales;
by Nancy G. Langmaid, Shire Archaelogy, 1976 first
publication, 64pp.. ISBN 0852632665. £3.80 / $6.36.
The Early Bronze Age (c. 1850-1400 BC); The Middle Bronze
Age ( (c.1400-1000 BC); the Late Bronze Age (1050 - 700 BC);
The Final Bronze Age and Earliest Iron Age (in England 600BC),
Museums, Select Bibliography, Glossary, the Illustrations,
depicts items in copper, bronze, gold, mostly daggers,
swords, a few shields, dress accessories, a bowl furnace
for casting, an open stone mould, molds can be either bronze,
stone or clay.

> > I know the big knoppy terminals were usually soldered or
> > cast on to the rings.  I am doing an arm band next and am
> > trying to decide where to start.

You must be speaking of Thistle brooches or some such I can't
recall. Thistle Brooches generally show up in Scotland.

Graham-Campbell, James: Viking-Age Gold and Silver of
Scotland (AD 850-1100), The Institute of Archaeology,
University College London; Hardcover, 1995, National
Museums of Scotland; ISBN: 0948636629
"This fully illustrated catalogue contains Viking-age gold
 and silver non-numismatic hoards and ornaments of
Scandinavian type found in Scotland. The findings are
housed in the Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh as well
as four other Scottish museums and in the British Museum.
These hoards include many rings, brooches, and bracelets,
some of which are elaborately decorated in a characteristic
style of Viking art. These important hoards have never been
illustrated or described in full and, where possible, are
shown, full-size, with drawings of decoration, stamped
ornament, and other significant details. The book also
includes an important summary of the numismatic evidence
and an appendix on the silver."
1 Color illustration & 143 B&W Illustrations. 110 x 90 mm,
ISBN:09486366292378 US$99.50
 - From the Publisher - "Illustrated academic catalogue of
gold and silver hoards and ornaments of Scandinavian type
found in Scotland, with specialist contributions and summary
of numismatic evidence. First documentation of two of the
largest known Viking age boards, the largest over 100 pieces
of silver, rings and decorated massive brooches in Scottish
museums in Glasgow, Thurs and Shetland and the British Museum.
Four hundred items examined to standard format, full size."

If you are speaking of Irish style brooches:

Smith, Reginald A.: Irish Brooches of Five Centuries;
Archaeologia 65, 1914, pp. 223-50 plus plates XXII-XXIII, XXV,
many fine drawings and a chronology of Irish Brooches from
approximately 500-1000 AD.

> To me it looks like the decoration was punched, and I would
> think after all other work was done.
> If I were trying to do one of those, I would cast a bar to
> rough shape and then work it with a hammer.

That's how it appears to me.
For period methods see:

Lønborg, B.: Vikingetidens Metalbearbejdning. Odense, 1998.
Book on Viking Metalworking - in Danish with English summary,
(Viking Period Metal Working Up). Odense Bys Museer, i
kommission hos Odense Universitetsforlag. (Odense University
Printing) Odense University Studies in History and Social
Sciences Vol. 203, Fynske Studier 17, 1998, ISBN 8778382599
or ISSN 0078-3307. Odense bys Museer, Publksum & Kommunikation,
Postboks 1255, 5100 Odense C, Tlf. 66 14 88 14 - 4601
Fax 65 90 86 00  email museum at post.odkomm.dk
ordered it through Oxbow, about $57 U.S. It runs about 140
pages, very well illustrated. In Danish with English
translations (very complete) below each illustration and a
31 page English summary with notes to illustrations in the
back. There are 85 illustrations with subsequent maps,
appendices, and a multi-language bibliography which is quite
large. The raw materials, tools, furnace, numerous molds,
techniques, and artifacts are pretty well illustrated,
including a period drawplate.
Holmqvist, Wilhelm and Birgit Arrhenius:
Golden Age and Viking Art in Sweden; (in English) Historiska
Museet, Stockholm, 1965, 58 pp..
Most of it is by W. Holmquist . Apparently the techniques
changed quite a bit during the Vendel to Viking periods with
some techniques changing and others being lost - like
enamelling. Rather instructive but lacking somewhat in
translation of some techniques.
   One of the changes was the near disappearance of the
pressed foils technique in the Viking age, let's say much
less common. These would be the gold or silver foils made
over the matrices - bronze plaque like plates especially
made for repeat designs, such as helmet plates.
  The reappearance of Viking chased metalwork after a lapse.
  There is a slight discussion of grinding garnet flat or
convex for better appearance to fit in the cloissons (cells)
of the metalwork but no mention of how it was cut to fit
them. The reason why I am interested in this is that it must
have been difficult to make the interlinking cross designs
of the Sutton Hoo pieces. They had extremely sharp corners
in them. Sutton Hoo is just blow away work.
  The book mentions using resin to set the pieces in the
cloissons, then it goes on to mention plaster and clay at
a later date. The cell walls were still pressed over to
secure the pieces. It mentions the change from Geometric
motifs to Germanic Animal Art. Finally the cement changes
to a mixture of beeswax and finely crushed limestone. It
says the richest age for cloissone work was 400-800 AD
finally disappearing all together in the Viking Age.
It says the garnets no longer have faceted edges but bear
traces of being sawn only.
   Golden Age and Viking Art in Sweden_ has chapters
(usually very short) on Casting, Engraving, Chasing, Punch
and Stamping, Incrustation, Filigree and Granulation,
Cloissone, Enamel, and Patination and Coloration. Some of
the chapters are only a few pages.
  There are photographic plates in the back of the book but
no illustrations of techniques in the text. There are a few
terms that look like they didn't quite make it in technical
translation from the Swedish. But it is a good book. Part
of the problem, and part of the good part of it, is that
it relates in very short paragraphs the historical
development of some of the techniques all the way back to
the Egyptians, and you're a bit confused keeping up with
the period that Holmquist is discussing in some of the
chapters. No bibliography is given.
   This is a museum catalog meant to enlighten curious
folks to a particular exhibition. There are 287 objects
listed but not anywhere all depicted in the plates in the
Okay, now we're into garnet work. Anders' old professor
wrote her thesis on this and there are two books by her.
One is in German, the other is in English.

Arrhenius, Birgit: Granatschmuck und Gemmen aus nordischen
Funden des frühen Mittelalters mit einem röntgenkristall-
ografischen ;  eitrag von Diego Carlström und Zeichnungen
von Bengt Händel. Stockholm 1971.. 4to. 265 pp. Ill.
Publisher's printed wrappers. Studies in North-European
Archaeology. Series B. (SEK~275:-)

Arrhenius, Birgit: Merovingian Garnet Jewellery: Emergence
and Social Implications. Göteborg 1985. Kungl. Vitterhets
Historie och Antikvitetsakademien. 4:0. Publishersbd. KVHAA
Stockholm 1985. 4to., 229pp., illustrated. HB. Foreward by
C.J. Becker. NOK 500 (SEK~ 523) Also known as Merowingian
Garnet Jewellery.

Well what else is there on working Garnets for the inlays?
Well, there is this:

Anglo-Saxon Studies on Archaeology and History 4, Oxford
Committee for Archaeology, 1985, edited by Sonia Chadwick
Hawkes, James Campbell and David Brown, 235 pages,
photographs in individual articles. Oxbow Books.
Applicable chapters:
Barry M. Ager: Smaller Variants on the Anglo-Saxon Quoit
   Brooch, pp. 1-58.
Christopher Scull: Further Evidence from East Anglia for
   Enamelling on Early Anglo-Saxon Metalwork, pp. 117-25.
Mavis Bimson: Dark Age Garnet Cutting pp. 125-8.
Katherine East: Cross Hatched Foils from Sutton Hoo,
   pp. 129-42.
N.C. Meeks and R. Holmes: The Sutton Hoo Garnet Jewellery,
Ruth Mazo Karras:Seventh Century Jewellery from Frisia:
   A Re-Examination, pp.159-78
Viking tools of a metalsmith/woodworker and assorted
cooking equipment and cauldron:
Arwidsson, Greta and Gosta Berg: The Mastermyr Find: A
Viking Age Tool Chest  from Gotland.  Stockholm: KVHAA/
Almqvist & Wiksell. 1983. Kungl. Vitterhets Historie Och
Antikvitets Akademien, Almquist & Wiksell Intl., Stockholm,
Sweden, 1983. Discusses Viking age woodworking and metal-
working tools, woodworking techniques, and material culture.
Reprinted by Norm Larson Books, CA 2000. larbooks at impulse.net
$18 plus shipping ($2 in the U.S.A.)
Holmqvist also wrote some other books you might like:

Holmqvist, Wilhelm: Övergångstidens Metallkonst;
Kungl. Vitterhets, Historie och antivitets akadmiens
handlingar, antikvariska serien 11.
(The Metal Art of the Transitional Period and it's
Chronology) Period of transition is between the pagan and
the Christian era - 11th and 12th Cs.
Almqvist and Wiksell, Stockholm - Goteborg - Uppsala.
Illustr. Sth 1963. 180 pp. English Summary in back.
Depicts christianized memorial stones, crucifixes, encopia
(folding cruxifixes), pendants in gold and silver with
filigree and animal decoration, decorated bowls, book
covers, altar top, wooden bench ends, processional crosses,
pendants with chains with animal heads, relic capsules,
sword hanger, decorated belt buckles, bronze animal headed
key, animal head terminaled woven silver arm band, animal
head terminals, a bell reliquary, gold pendants with
filigree and granulation, close ups of some box brooches,
gold and silver brooches with filigree and granulation,
a reliquary, a ship's weathervane, Abbot Theophanu's relic
cross from Essen, metal bookbinding from Ireland, The
Clonmacnoise, Ireland crosier. All in B&W

Holmqvist, Wilhelm: GULDHALSKRAGARNA, Foto Soren Hallgren
m fl: Stockholm, LTs Forlag, i samarbete med Statens
Historiska Museum; Illustr. Sth 1980. 128 pp. Inb.
The gold stuff from the State Historical Museum.

Holmquist, Wilhelm: Swedish Vikings on Helgo and Birka;
Studio Granath, Stockholm for the Swedish Booksellers'
Assn, Printed in Sweden by Falts Trykeri, Varnamo, 1979,
ISBN 9197038911 Contains a great deal of mostly color
pictures of Viking and pre-Viking jewelery and metalwork
and beads. Also includes a view of a reconstructed
chest with the original hardware in place. One lock
depicted. 140 pages.

Aus Romerzeit und Volkerwanderung; Stocholm, Wahlstrom &
Widstrand, Illustr. Sth 1951. 160  pp. (200:-K)
[Metalwork of the North from the Roman and Folkwandering
For Niello, a black lead suphide, and inlay:

Evison, Vera: Early Anglo-Saxon Inlaid Metalwork,
Reprinted from the Antiquaries Journal, Vol XXXV,
Jan-Apr. 1955, Numbers 1-2.  pp. 20-45 and plates III-IX.
5 variously viewed objects - two spears, three buckles;
24 radiographs (items not otherwise depicted generally) of
a spear, various inlaid buckles, purse-mounts; pictures of
Croydon tubular object, purse mount, inlaid and repousse
plates (for belts?); buckle and heart shaped plate; inlaid
bronze strap ends; High Down slide animalistic head ends;
buckle plates, remains of knife and sheath.

Evison, Vera: Further Anglo-Saxon Inlay; Antiq. Journal 38,
1958, pp.240-4.

Evison, Vera: The White Material in Kentish Disc Brooches;
in Antiquaries Journal 31, 1951, pp.197-200 and Plate XXXIII
which shows seven round brooches and one disc on
square-headed bow brooch in b&w. Principle material was
crystobalite, possibly from ground opals.

La Niece, Susan: Niello and Enamel on Irish Metalwork;
   Antiq. Journal 73, 1993, pp. 148-51.
La Niece, Susan: Niello: An Historical and Technical Survey,
   Offprint from the Antiquaries Journal, Vol. LVII part II,
1983, pp. 279-97 and plates XL to XLII, with a page and a
half bibliography.
Master Magnus Malleus, OL © 2002 R.M. Howe
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http://www.Florilegium.org/ as always is permitted.


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