Lot 1036: Viking Openwork Urnes Mount
December 7, 2016
Harwich, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 11th century AD. A flat-section bronze openwork mount with Urnes Style serpent, pierced flange to each end. Cf. Thomas, G. Late Anglo-Saxon and Viking Age Strap-Ends 750-1100: Part 2, Finds Research Group datasheet 33, Sleaford, 2007 items 36, 37 for similar design. 13 grams, 50mm (2"). Property of a Dutch collector; acquired from Dirk Kennis - Works of Art, Antwerp, Belgium, in 2009; previously in a Belgium collection in 1981; formerly found East Anglia, UK. Accompanied by certificate of authenticity from Dirk Kennis. The Urnes style takes its name from the decoration of a small church in the Norwegian village of that name in the province of Sogn. The wooden carvings from this church were re-used from an earlier building when the church was built and consist of standing quadrupeds, snake-like animals and thin interlacing ribbons which terminate in animal heads. The animals have a distinctly sinuous form, the bodies swell and curve and the few angularities only serve to emphasize the undulating character of the motif. The animals interlace together biting each other at the neck, while the thin ribbons form an interlace pattern which is the leitmotif of the composition. A characteristic feature of the Urnes style is the combat motif with each animal biting its neighbour, and which is possibly derived from the Mammen style.
Condition Report: Fine condition.