Lot 1070: Viking Gilt Seated Freyja Mount
December 7, 2016
Harwich, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 9th-10th century AD. A parcel-gilt silver plaque pendant with facing seated figure, probably the goddess Freyja, modelled in the half-round; the hands raised to grip lateral ribbed strands of hair, the garment formed as two crossed bands on the chest, the knees prominent and feet placed together; emerging from each strand of hair a feline with curled tail, ribbed body, foreleg curled over the neck, notched fingers and triangular face with lappet and snubbed snout; loop above the head, three holes to the edges. Accompanied by an Art Loss Register certificate. 35 grams, 46mm (1 3/4"). Property of a German gentleman; acquired on the European art market in the 1990s. Accompanied by a positive X-Ray Fluorescence metal analysis certificate. The figure represents a seated female accompanied by two cats. In the Icelandic poem Gylfaginning (The Deceiving of Gylfi) Freyja is said to be seated in her chariot drawn by two cats. Her hall in heaven is called Sessrumnir meaning 'with room for many seats'. She is also associated with a high-seat from which prophecy is made, similar to that of Odin.
Condition Report: Very fine condition. Extremely rare.