Anglo-Scandinavian 'Fenrir' Openwork Viking Panel 022431

Anglo-Scandinavian 'Fenrir' Openwork Viking Panel 022431
Excessively Rare Anglo-Scandinavian 'Fenrir' Openwork Viking Panel
Copper-alloy, 34.67 grams, 60.08 mm. Circa 11th century AD. A cast openwork Ringerike Style mount or plate in the form of a rectangular frame containing a complex interlaced zoomorphic panel. The design comprises a large s-curved lupine creature with long muzzle and a spiral hip, facing over its back towards two serpents which encircle the larger animal's hind-legs. Four attachment rivets are still present in the shorter sides. The scene appears to depict the binding of the monstrous wolf, Fenrir, one of the dangerous supernatural offspring of the god Loki. The gods undertook several attempts at binding the wolf, because they believed it to be a menace to the order of the world, but all the fetters they devised failed; eventually they created a binding from magical, non-existent ingredients (the roots of a mountain, the beard of a woman, etc.) but the wolf refused to allow the gods to place the fetter on him without some form of surety of their good faith. Eventually, the war-god Tyr agreed to place his hand in the wolf's mouth as a pledge: the wolf proved unable to break the fetter and was thus captured. All the gods laughed at this except Tyr, who lost his hand. When the wolf finally breaks free from his fetter, the ending of the world will ensue. Reference: Allan, T. Vikings - The Battle at the End of Time, London, 2002 p.62 and cf. openwork execution of an Anglo-Scandinavian figurative mount in Williams, D. Late Saxon Stirrup-Strap Mounts, CBA Research Report 111, London, 1997 item 481. Extremely fine condition, complete. Provenance: found East Yorkshire, England.


This item is accompanied by an illustrated Certificate of Authenticity.

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