Ten Favourite … Pieces of Viking Jewellery

Christina here with a new feature on Word Wenches, where we will list favourite objects in a category of our choice. Today I have chosen Viking jewellery, because I find it fascinating and beautiful to look at, and there is so much to choose from!

As part of my research into the Vikings, I have obviously visited an awful lot of museums to view artifacts from that era. I am always especially drawn to the jewellery and although it was incredibly difficult to choose, below is a list of my top ten favourites so far. The Vikings were superb craftsmen and I would happily own any/all of the following:-

1 Min ringNo 1 has to be the ring that inspired the first of my Viking stories. It is kept at the Historical Museum in Stockholm, and as I’ve mentioned previously I own an exact replica of it. Some jewellery company was given the right to reproduce part of the treasures kept in Scandinavian museums and I was lucky enough to be given this by my parents. The ring is a stylised snake or dragon with two heads, and I love the intricate design as well as the overall simplicity.

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All that glitters …

Poster… isn’t gold – but sometimes it IS!

Christina here. Next week my latest book will be released and the idea for this story was sparked by the Galloway Hoard, a magnificent treasure found in Scotland in 2014. As soon as I heard about it, I was fascinated. I could only imagine how amazing it must feel to discover something like that. Despite having bought myself a metal detector a few years ago, I’ve never found anything other than a few rusty nails and a piece of iron pipe, so I decided I would have to fulfil this dream in my imagination instead. Add to this the fact that the hoard was of Viking origin and it seemed like serendipity! That’s when Hidden in the Mists started to take shape in my mind.

BirdThe hoard was probably buried around 900 AD and consists of various gold and silver items, as well as other more ordinary things. It’s one of the most incredible treasures ever found in Scotland and the richest one from the Viking age. I read all the articles about it when it was first revealed and couldn’t wait for it to go on display. That took a while as obviously the items had to be conserved and assessed first. Eventually, I was fortunate enough to see it in person, and I was enthralled by the many precious objects. My absolute favourite was a little gold pin in the shape of a bird which I had already used in another story, Whispers of the Runes. The hero of that book is a silversmith/jeweller and I had him make a pin just like this. I saw it as a bird of prey or a raven judging by its curved beak, but archaeologists felt it more resembled a flamingo. Most probably it’s a fantasy bird but either way, I just love how intricate it is, despite being so small!

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A Norwegian Adventure

FlagChristina here and once again I’m going to take you all armchair travelling! A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to go to Norway on a research trip. My older daughter and I drove around the southern part of the country covering 1230 km in five days! Exhausting, but very rewarding.

We began our trip in the capital, Oslo, a beautiful town situated next to the Oslo fjord. In the city centre old houses mixed with new, overlooked by the royal castle up on a hill at one end of the famous Karl Johan Gate (street). Everything was within walking distance, including the cathedral, the harbour and Akershus, a medieval castle.

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