Viking Arrowhead Pendant Necklace
Viking Arrowhead Pendant Necklace
This specimen is a Viking arrowhead mounted as a pendant necklace. The arrowheads date to roughly 900 CE.
Each necklace comes with a handsome display/storage box and a small information card that also serves as the certificate of authenticity. All other components of the necklace are sterling silver, including the heavy 18" (45cm) wheat chain.
LIMITED QUANTITY: These pendants are handcrafted in small batches. Due to their unique nature, each pendant is priced and sold individually. So make sure to sign up for email notifications if they are out of stock and we'll let you know when new items arrive.
📸 A typical Viking arrowdhead pendant in hand
Authentic Norse Metal
Viking arrows were likely used more for survival than they were warfare, as they are most often associated with the act of hunting. The leaf-like shape of this specimen was common among those looking for their next meal and would be tanged into the shaft of the arrow. With their powerful bows, a Norse hunter could strike a target from over 600 feet away and bring down even large game like elk and bears.
Please Note: This is not a light necklace. All of the pendants are roughly 2" in length. The shape and condition varies quite widely so we've opted to sell these individually. Each will come with a heavy 18" Sterling Silver wheat chain. 24" chains are also available and may be more suitable for your particular Viking if they are of a certain stature.
📸 Viking arrowdhead pendant with certificate of authenticity/information card
Handling and Care Instructions
CAUTION: Specimens selected for jewelry purposes have edges and points worn somewhat smooth by the centuries. That said, these are still arrowheads so use good judgment when wearing these pendants. They are not intended for children.
CARE: All pendants are quite solid and have been treated against further decay. However, we definitely recommend that you avoid water while wearing these pendants.
📸 "Funeral of a Viking" by Frank Bernard Dicksee (1853–1928). This presentation is perhaps a bit dramatic, but thoroughly enjoyable
MORE ABOUT VIKING EXPANSION
"Never before has such terror appeared in Britain as we have now suffered from a pagan race ... The heathens poured out the blood of saints around the altar, and trampled on the bodies of saints in the temple of God, like dung in the streets."
~ Alcuin of York, on the first Viking raids of 793 CE
📸 From the codex of Cotton Tiberius B. V, Part 1, f.40v (c. 1300)
Lindisfarne and Beyond
The spectacular entry of the Vikings into history is usually pinned to a raid on an isolated monastery off the northeast coast of England in 793 CE. The raid received wide attention in Western Europe due to the writings of a prominent scholar named Alcuin of York.
A native to this region of England, Alcuin was serving in the court of Charlemagne when he received word of the raid. Yet, Alcuin's rather graphic description is complicated by the times in which it was crafted.
The growing empire of Charlemagne had come into contact with the Danes to the north and there are some scholars who suggest that the raid on Lindisfarne monastery, and many of the others which followed, were in direct response to the threat the Norsemen felt along their own borders.
Regardless, the expansion of the Norsemen continued, and their travels were widespread. They scouted and raided the entire coast of Europe and all of the major rivers of the continent.
📸 A map of Norse Exploration and Settlements
During their time in southern and eastern Europe, Norsemen served as mercenaries for the Byzantine Empire and enforcers of the peace in slavic lands. They expanded far to the East, establishing colonies in today's Russia. The Kievan Rus as they were known also traded with the Islamic world. Rare evidence of this extensive trade network was discovered in the 19th century when a ring bearing Arabic script was uncovered in the 9th century grave of a woman on the Swedish island of Björkö.
In the north Atlantic, Norsemen discovered the island of Iceland, the archipelago of Svalbard, and the micro-continent Greenland. They also made several attempts to colonize a land further west which they called Vinland and which we call North America.
Records of these adventures and Norse society were often kept in literary form known as a Saga. When we hear the word saga today, we often think of the "Prose Edda" which contains many of the mythological stories we associate with the notion of the Vikings. However, the saga was really more of a broad term used to describe nearly any narrative.
📸 A Wheeler Type III Bearded Axe Head, showing clear signs of restoration using the techniques prevalent in the 1960s. Modern weld is apparent along the cutting edge and poll.
Weapons of the Vikings
In addition to the adventures, family histories, mythology, and tales of political intrigue, the sagas also describe the weapons of the Vikings and their manufacture. Next to the knives, the machete-like sax, and the swords of the wealthy, we also learn more about the various types of axes that were so prominent in the lives of the Norsemen.
Unlike the popular image of a giant Viking axe, the reality is quite different. Smaller blades were more effective in close combat not to mention much cheaper. So, while the largest axes like the crescent-shaped Breiðøx, or broad axe, might have a cutting edge up to 18" (45cm), the iconic "bearded axe," or Skegøx, might only reach 6" (15cm).
With a properly sharpened carving axe, a skilled craftsman can quickly turn out many useful implements including mallets, bowls, and even spoons. Combined with the adze, the gouge, and the drawknife, it is possible to create incredibly ornate carvings including the famous dragon heads which adorned the prows of many Norse sailing ships.
Pye, Michael. The Edge of the World: How the North Sea Made Us Who We Are. Penguin UK, 2014.
Haywood, John. The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings. Penguin Group USA, 1995.
Cf. Sedov, B.B. Finno-Ugri i Balti v Epokhi Srednevekovija, Moscow, 1987
Cooper, Tracey-Anne. Reconstructing a deconstructed manuscript, community and culture: London, BL MS Cotton Tiberius A. III. Boston College, 2005.