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LOT 0356

Sold for (Inc. bp): £11,700

33 1/4 in. (842 grams, 84.5 cm).

A Viking period sword comprising: a 9th century high-status silver-covered lobed pommel and cross guard consisting of a Petersen Type D/E pommel composed of a broadly conical body with elliptical cross-section and rounded ends, the lower part formed as a plain broad band, the upper section with a scalloped and domed silhouette, divided into three decorative segments with detailed inlay to both faces, including diagonal hatching, faux ropework and solid angular forms contrasted with fluid interlace, seemingly creating an overall zoomorphic scheme; the cross guard with remains of the original silver-covered design, elliptical in cross-section, also with rounded ends; a contemporary 9th century Geibig type 1 variant tanged, pattern-welded blade with rounded tip and shallow fuller to both faces, the fuller with additional (worn) inlay; whilst all components are 9th century in date, the heavy pommel and cross guard were originally intended for a broader hacking blade which was seemingly replaced with this slender thrusting blade at an unknown date.

Acquired 1970s-1990s.
From the S.K. collection, Switzerland.
Accompanied by an analysis report by professional artefact assessor Russell Scott.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate no.11397-191832.

Cf. Williams, G. ed., Vikings life and legend, The British Museum, London, 2014, p.18 and pp.102-103, for a similar pommel and cross-guard; cf. Willemsen, A., Vikings! Raids in the Rhine/ Meuse region 800-1000, Utrecht, 2004, pp.130-131, for a similar cross guard and pommel; cf. Rosedahl, E. ed., From Viking to Crusader The Scandinavians and Europe 800-1200, Sweden, 1992, p.292, item 243, for similar dated 9th century A.D.; cf. Oakeshott, E., Records of the Medieval Sword, Woodbridge, 2000, p.24, item 3, for similar; cf. Pierce, I., Swords Of The Viking Age, Woodbridge, 2004, pp.44-46, for more detailed discussion of type D and E pommels.

The slight curve on the blade suggests that it was perhaps deposited in a Viking howe for an extensive period. It is possible for any blade to have been re-worked, shortened and/ or ground down over the course of its life. Petersen Type D is of Norwegian origin.