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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Avian Friends

Hugin MuninChristina here. I’ve been mulling over ideas for a new story, and one of the things I’d like to add is an unusual pet. In the past, I’ve always given my heroes and heroines faithful canine companions, but this time I want something a little bit different. I’m considering a pet raven.

As I write about Viking times, this seems appropriate, since the god Odin was said to have two ravens – Huginn (Old Norse for ‘thought’) and Muninn (Old Norse for ‘memory’). According to the sagas, this pair would fly across the world each day and then return to Odin to give him information about anything that might concern him. His personal spies, as it were. It is interesting that this particular type of bird was chosen by the god to be his informants – Vikings must have known how clever they are.

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A Sense of Memory

Weathercock HillNicola here, musing about the atmosphere of particular places. Today I’m taking us back a long way in English history, beyond the Regency, beyond those ubiquitous Tudors, to a time before the Norman Conquest when England was split into the Anglo Saxon seven kingdoms. The village where I live has a recorded history that goes back to this distant time – there are actual documents from the era relating to events that happened in this very place over a thousand years ago and I find that mind-blowing. As I walk along the footpaths and over the hills I frequently imagine how it might have looked in that time and try to see all the way back through the mists of history to think myself back there.  I can be pretty successful at this; when it’s quiet and I’m standing on the Ravens’ Fort and all I can hear are the birds singing and I feel the breeze on my face I can persuade myself, for a split second anyway, that I have travelled in time. Then an aeroplane flies over and I think perhaps not after all.

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