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Home > Auctions > 2nd June 2020 > Large Elaborate Viking Period Silver Sword Scabbard Chape

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LOT 0476

Estimate
GBP (£) 4,000 - 6,000
EUR (€) 4,490 - 6,740
USD ($) 5,040 - 7,560

Price
£3,600 (EUR 4,044; USD 4,536) (+bp*)

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Large Elaborate Viking Period Silver Sword Scabbard Chape

10th-11th century AD

A large silver Avar or Byzantine scabbard chape, the sheet body with repoussé linear ornament and punched dots to front of throat and tip; the throat rim with applied cast collar with bands of ornament and central spur rising in the form of ram's heads to both sides and the tip with affixed cast embellishment piece with pellets to edges, scrolls and trefoil central elements with knop to tip. 118 grams, 22.5cm (9"). Fine condition; professionally restored.

Provenance
Property of a European collector; formerly in an old European collection formed in the 1980s.
Literature
Cf. pieces of Byzantine production used by Vikings and Varangians in Androshchuk, F. Byzantium and the Scandinavian world in the 9th-10th, material evidence of contacts, in Bjerg, L., H. Lind J., Sindbaek S.M., From Goths to Varangians: Communication and Cultural Exchange Between The Baltic and The Black Sea, Aahrus University Press, 2013, pp.147-192.
Footnotes
Such elaborate chapes were with all probability made in Byzantium for the members of the mercenary unities of Rus and Viking fighting for the Vasilèfs of Constantinople, and most probably, from the age of Basil II (976-1025) for the famous Varangian Guard.