Painted Viking Shield
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Description of the Product
Although not every Viking could afford a sword or an iron helmet, a shield protected even a spearman. With the tactics employed by the Vikings, a man without a shield would have been a dead one very quickly, and therefore a shield was the primary piece of armor a warrior heading for battle would acquire. The shields were used not only defensively, but also imaginatively in various attacks.
This shield has a painted animal motif. Animals featured in most, if not all, Viking art for three centuries. Zoomorphic art is abstract, so it is often impossible to tell which animal is pictured. These intermeshed and convoluted animal elements are found not only in Scandinavian art, but are also prevalent in Germanic and Celtic areas, such as Anglo-Saxon England.
The ornamental cast brass fittings on the front of the shield are in the form of trefoil, or shamrock. This form was borrowed from the francs, who had used them as baldric mounts. When these trefoil ornaments came to the Vikings as part of a loot, their usage changed, and they were typically worn as a brooch to fasten a shawl for example. The decoration of the fittings on this shield is a combination of the zoomorphic Borre and Jellinge styles: the animal masks and the balance of the composition are characteristically Borre, and the contours and spirals are typically Jellinge. This type was mostly found in Norway and Denmark.
- This round shield is made of approx. 13 mm thick plywood
- Features a steel shield boss and a solid wooden handle on the back
- The edge of the shield is lined with leather
- Diameter 91,5 cm
- Weight 5,3 kg
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