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Home > Auctions > 5th March 2024 > 'The Ferryhill' Anglo-Scandinavian Viking Bronze Three-Dimensional Urnes Stirrup-Type Mount with Head of Odin

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LOT 0377

GBP (£) 4,000 - 6,000
EUR (€) 4,670 - 7,010
USD ($) 5,070 - 7,600

Current bid: £4,400 (+bp*)
(10 Bids, Reserve met)

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(10 Bids, Reserve met)   |   Current bid: £4,400
2 in. (27.39 grams, 50.66 mm).

A bowed anthropomorphic mount in the form of the face of Odin, with oval right and damaged left eye, beard and hair raised to form a convex shape, rounded cheeks, a triangular nose and a beard, moustache with lateral protrusion, the hair openwork and formed of entwined linear elements, five rivet holes present.

Found by Steve Aldred whilst searching with a metal detector near Ferryhill, County Durham, UK, on Tuesday 8th March 2022.
Recorded with the British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) and subsequently returned to the finder.

Accompanied by a copy of the British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) report no.DUR-834DAB, where this object is described as: 'a find of note and has been designated: of National importance'.
Accompanied by a copy of the article about the circumstances surrounding the finding published in the February 2024 issue of Treasure Hunting Magazine.
Accompanied by a copy of a photograph taken of the object when it was found on 8th March 2022.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate no.12074-214165.

The Hotspot, Treasure Hunting Magazine, February 2024, News and Views, p.12 & 13.

See Williams, D., Late Saxon Stirrup-Strap Mounts: a classification and catalogue: a contribution to the study of Late Saxon ornamental metalwork, 1997; Council for British Archaeology Research Reports no.111; and Wilson, D.M. and Klindt-Jensen, O., Viking Art, London, 1966.

Comparison has been made with stirrup-strap mounts of Williams (1997) Class A, Type 9, and especially with variants of the form (see HAMP-B7C312). Although relatively few of these mounts have been found, and their distribution is spread across the country, there is an arguable focus on Yorkshire. Commenting on a 2007 Isle of Wight example (IOW-4FA904), Barry Ager (then of the British Museum) suggested a connection with horse-riding equipment, and in particular drew comparisons with a type of face-mask mount on the Danish harness-bow from Søllested (see Wilson and Klindt-Jensen, pl. 37).