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Lot 1040: Vking 'Ainsbrook' Punch Die

Antiquities: Day 2

by TimeLine Auctions

December 7, 2016

Harwich, United Kingdom

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Description: 10th-11th century AD.. A bronze punch die formed as a sturdy column with raised facial features on one end and a spread and flattened surface at the other; the face D-shaped with one elliptical and one circular eye, U-shaped nose, elliptical mouth and radiating lines for the beard and hair. Hammond, B. British Artefacts vol.2 - Middle Saxon & Viking, Witham, 2010 p.14. 46 grams, 31mm (1 1/4"). Property of a Dutch collector; acquired from TimeLine Originals, in 2011; found 'Ainsbrook', UK. The die, bearing a positive impression, may have been used to decorate thin metal sheets. The item was found with the Ainsbrook Hoard, a collection of mainly 10th century metalwork probably part of the stock of a Viking merchant with links to both Scandinavia and Ireland. The face may represent the god Þórr (Thor) who was the patron of farmers, artisans and traders and is usually represented as a powerful male with a prominent beard.

Condition Report: Fine condition. Extremely rare.

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