Lot 1038: Viking Odin and Spear Patrix Die

TimeLine Auctions

December 7, 2016
Harwich, United Kingdom

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Description: 10th-12th century AD. A rectangular patrix die, slightly widened to one side, with raised image of the bearded, one-eyed face of Odin surrounded by a double roped border with a lozenge decoration showing incised detail underneath the face, possibly representing a spear. Accompanied by an Art Loss Register certificate. 30.17 grams, 74mm (3"). Property of a London businessman, from his grandfather's collection formed after World War II; thence by descent 1972. Supplied with a positive X-Ray Fluorescence metal analysis certificate. There is no doubt that the one-eyed face on this artefact is that of Odin, the king and ruler of Asgard, the realm of Viking gods. Odin's importance is recorded in the earliest written sources about Germanic tribes, when he was known mostly as Wodan and compared by Romans to their god Mercury; his character evolved through centuries, but his prevailing association was as the god of death, magic and war. Odin's obsession with possessing all knowledge is documented in many later poems. He lied to a giantess to obtain the divine poetic mead, dressed as a woman to gain the understanding of a special kind of magic, and hanged himself on the world tree Yggdrasil to discover the secret meaning of runes. One of his most famous sacrifices was his eye to the well of Mimir. Odin was not only unpredictable and ruthless, but a very powerful patron of Viking nobility, worshipped by warriors, artists, kings and berserkers. The mounts made with this patrix die, were most likely used to strengthen the connection between the wearer and the skills that Odin could grant him. The unusual triangular decoration underneath the face may represent gugnir, the famous spear made by dwarfs, who were tricked by the god Loki; alternatively, the incised detail might be the stylised face of Loki himself.
Condition Report: Extremely fine condition. Excessively rare.
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Antiquities: Day 2

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TimeLine Auctions
December 7, 2016, 10:00 AM GMT

Harwich, United Kingdom

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Shipping Terms: 27. Title, Risk and Insurance: Title to any Lot is retained by the Seller until the Purchase Price and all other sums payable by the Buyer to TimeLine have been paid in full in cleared funds to TimeLine; at this point, Title will transfer from the Seller to the Buyer. Risk for the Lot passes to the Buyer at the time the Lot is knocked down to the Bidder. TimeLine does not hold property insured after the Lot has been knocked down.

28. Collection of Lots and Storage: Once the Buyer has paid the Purchase Price in full, TimeLine will release the Lot to the Buyer for collection. The Buyer must collect, or arrange the collection of, all purchases from the location advised by TimeLine by 4.30pm on the seventh working day following the Date of Sale. Buyers may use the services of Mail Boxes Etc (contact details are provided on TimeLine documentation) or a service of their choice for collection, packing and shipping services. Lots not collected by the seventh working day following the Date of Sale will be moved to storage at a transfer cost of £20 plus VAT per lot and storage charges will thereafter be applied at the rate of £1.90 plus VAT per lot per day until collected; no lots may be removed until any storage costs have been paid in full. In the event that the accrual of storage charges reaches 50% of the Hammer Price paid or after the expiration of three months from the transfer date, whichever occurs first, Timeline reserve the right to re-sell any and all lots stored without notice and in any manner at their sole discretion and to apply any proceeds in defrayment of such costs. The buyer will be entitled to receive any credit balance above the amount of the costs on request but will remain liable for any deficit.

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