Lot 1019: Viking Large Filigree Lunar Pendant
December 7, 2016
Harwich, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 9th-11th century AD. A large silver crescentic pendant with beaded border, finely decorated wide integral loop, very fine granular decoration with three groups of raised bosses formed as trefoil. Cf. Makarov, N.A. (ed.) Rus v IX-X Vekach: Archeologicheskaya Panorama, Moscow, 2012, p.332, items 2-3. 6.02 grams, 49mm (2"). From a European collection; formerly in an old Oriental collection; acquired 1960. In the mid ninth century AD a group of Viking traders and settlers, known as Varangians, moved from their homeland and established settlements in Russia and Belarus. This gave them access to the Byzantine Empire, via the rivers that led to the Black Sea, and which in turn allowed them to establish trade links with Mediterranean countries and become mercenaries in the Byzantine army; the Varangian Rus were mostly noted as fierce bodyguards for the Byzantine Imperial family. Their style of ornamentation and religious beliefs remained largely Scandinavian until they were converted by Byzantine missionaries. Pendants such as these are typical of the Rus styles and reflect the Pagan beliefs of the people.
Condition Report: Very fine condition.