Replicated Artifacts
Jan 16, 2007Public
Photo: The main object here is the Viking Sword from a child's grave in Balnakeil, Durness, on the North coast of Scotland made by Tim Noyes. However, the remains of a scabbard were present too and replicated here. The last 20cm or so was missing as it protruded from the now exposed grave. The scabbard is made of oak lathes - one side pocketed and the second side glued over the blade, then bound with linen and finally a spiral wound linen taped glued over that. There was no evidence of any form of hanger or baldric. The scabbard has a number of parallels - Sutton Hoo for example and a fresco from the Oratory of St. Benedict in Rome. For such a fine example of a sword, sadly the hilt was seemingly wrapped in nothing more elegant than string. The scabbard is waterproof and entirely organic in its component parts and can be slung with a knotted leather baldric. The sword is fairly short and was broken in the scabbard with the lowest piece missing - about 600mm overall length.
Photo: A 70kg block of Bath Stone replicating the 'Great Beast' headstone found in St. Paul's churchyard in 1852 from London. Here it is at the stage where it's little incomplete but still showing the Ringerike style of art that the Vikings introduced to Britain in the 980's. The original was painted quite gaudily in red ocher and black with a runic inscription down one side.
Photo: For artistic sake, the same stone as previous but back lit giving better definition to the piece.
Photo: I suspect that the original was probably carved from a re-used piece of Roman work. The original stone was quarried from Portland and moved to London. Whilst it is not entirely unlikely that stone of this quality was transported by the Anglo-Saxons, the easiest source in London were stones already moved there by the long departed Romans.
Photo: Here you can see me carving (about to at any rate), the stone in the Museum of London. They have their own example which school children have done rubbings from.
Photo: A good close up of the head of the 'Great Beast.' Which to my mind is in fact a stag and poetically placed in a foggy morning with wreaths of mist and vapour from his breath winding around him...the natural stone was just another surface to paint for the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons, so losing the subtle feel that we tend to view.
Photo: A test piece of York stone with a Viking style cross. Carving this is far more troublesome than Portland Stone and cutting any detail into the stone is very tricky by comparison.
Photo: This a Sprang hairnet in wool dyed with woad of a mid Roman date as found in Denmark. Sprang is an elastic hand 'knotted' type of fabric that can be turned into hair nets like this or mittens and stockings. The hair net gathers up the hair to protect it from everyday cooking fire smoke and dust.
Photo: A simple Viking style padlock and key. The key slides in over a spring loaded tongue which allows the hasp to be withdrawn.
Photo: In this view you can see the hasp tapering into the spring catch element and how the opposite end of the hasp locates in the narrower end of the lock. The lock is assembled with long rivets going from one end of the lock to the other. About 75mm overall length.
Photo: A copy of a find from Later Saxon Hamwic (Southampton) in bronze. The cruciform shape of this brooch is probably purely for design sake and nothing specifically religious. The original find had been converted into a pendant - here it is a brooch again. About 50mm long.
Photo: Three Later Saxon strap ends in bronze demonstrating the liking of the Saxons for the 'Winchester' art style and dated to around mid 10th century. The top two examples are from Ixworth in Suffolk with the lower from Winchester. The largest strap end is 56mm long.
Photo: The famous Saxon Winchester Strap End in bronze. 10th century. The original had four rivets to anchor it. (Dear viewer, this is all I have in reference to my original carving and has suffered somewhat in the hands of the caster who added all the holes that are precisely sized unlike the original...) 69mm long.
Photo: An Anglo-Saxon wax tablet in oak and beeswax with a bronze stylus copied from Whitby. The tablet is about 150mm high.
Photo: The outer cover of the Wax Tablet showing the thonged hinge and the stylus. It would have only really been used for notes to be then copied onto something more permanent. The stylus can erase the text with the flattened end, but the best results can be had by warming the wax or even heating the end of the stylus and using that to erase the inscription. The Romans used wax tablets much like this which had up to three leaves and sealed with lead stamps.
Photo: A test cast in bronze of a wedding ring based on elements of the 9th century Anglo-Saxon Polingsford ring with a personalised dedication. The final version was cast in gold and was 22mm in diameter.
Photo: A cloak ring pin made from brass replicating one excavated from the Viking levels in York. Here a thong is used as the closing mechanism on the pin. Other materials can be used instead of leather thong, but it does show that when the cloak was anchored with the cloak pin and the tie, it was then infrequently removed to open the cloak and the cloak lifted off over the head instead. 141mm long.
Photo: A twisted 10th century ring made of bronze. Rings of this type have been found made in silver and gold. In this case individually sized - but small in this instance.
Photo: An Anglo-Saxon bone buckle from Goodmanham in Humberside. It has decorative rivets in the lobes and an iron catch - some have bone catches. Around 80mm long.
Photo: Bone Strap end joined to the woven belt length in some pretty lurid and expensive dyes. The strap end takes its design from a find in Goodmanham in Humberside. 10th century. Around 45mm long.
Photo: A bronze Later Anglo-Saxon dragon headed book mount from Sedgeford in Norfolk that had been altered and then re-used as a pendant. (Dear viewer, it shouldn't have precise round holes drilled in it - not my fault...) About 50mm in length.
Photo: A bone test Bridge piece for a Rebec - a three stringed instrument similar to a violin or fiddle. The strings sit in the grooves on the top of the bridge also spreading them apart. 36mm high.
Photo: A spurious dice holder with Viking Mammen style art made from a hollowed out section of Red Deer antler. The dice too are made of antler. Mid 10th century. The original example was carved on a section of bone and discovered in Arnes, Norway. About 70mm high.
Photo: The open lid of the dice pot. The hinges are very simple and plain as is the catch.