Collection of bronze clasp fragments "Viking"

95 €

The Viking Age, Scandinavia, 900AD - 1066AD, private colection from Denmark.

The Viking Age (793–1066 CE) was the period during the Middle Ages when Norsemen known as Vikings undertook large-scale raiding, colonizing, conquest, and trading throughout Europe and reached North America. It followed the Migration Period and the Germanic Iron Age. The Viking Age applies not only to their homeland of Scandinavia but also to any place significantly settled by Scandinavians during the period. In the Viking Age, the present day nations of Norway, Sweden and Denmark did not exist, but were largely homogeneous and similar in culture and language, although somewhat distinct geographically. The etymology of "Viking" is uncertain. The Old Norse feminine víking (as in the phrase fara í víking) may originally have been a long-distance sea journey characterised by the shifting of rowers, and a víkingr (the masculine) would originally have been a participant on such a sea journey. The Anglo-Saxons regarded the word wicing as synonymous with pirate.

The Vikings were made up of landowning chieftains and clan heads, their retainers, freemen, and any energetic young clan members who sought adventure and booty overseas. At home these Scandinavians were independent farmers, traders, blacksmiths, and craftsmen, but at sea they were raiders and pillagers. These tactical seafaring warriors began by raiding coastal sites, especially undefended monasteries, in the British Isles. In 793AD, an attack on the Lindisfarne (Holy Island) monastery off the coast of Northumberland in northeastern England marked the beginning of the Viking Age. Over the next three centuries, they would leave their mark as pirates, raiders, traders and settlers on much of Britain and the European continent, as well as parts of modern-day Russia, Iceland, Greenland and Newfoundland. They were also shrewd and competent traders and merchants. They traded all the goods of the north – furs, amber, iron and timber, for all the goods of the south, silver, gold, silks and spices. And all along the trade routes, the Vikings traded in slaves.The Norse-Gaels, Normans, Rus' people, Faroese, and Icelanders emerged from these Norse colonies. The Vikings founded several kingdoms and earldoms in Europe: the kingdom of the Isles (Suðreyjar), Orkney (Norðreyjar), York (Jórvík) and the Danelaw (Danalǫg), Dublin (Dyflin), Normandy, and Kievan Rus' (Garðaríki). The Norse homelands were also unified into larger kingdoms during the Viking Age, and the short-lived North Sea Empire included large swathes of Scandinavia and Britain. In 1021, the Vikings achieved the feat of reaching North America, making them the first Europeans to discover America.

In Scandinavia, the Viking Age is considered to have ended with the establishment of royal authority in the Scandinavian countries and the establishment of Christianity as the dominant religion. Scholars have proposed different end dates for the Viking Age, but most argue it ended in the 11th century. The end of the Viking Age is traditionally marked in England by the failed invasion attempted by the Norwegian king Harald III (Haraldr Harðráði), who was defeated by Saxon King Harold Godwinson in 1066 at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.

Like today’s men and women, the Vikings dressed according to sex, age and economic status. The men preferred trousers and tunics, whilst the women dressed in strap dresses worn over undergarments. The types of clothes men wore in battle were a lot more robust. Men would wear thick, leather body armour for protection and have a helmet and shield for protection from sword strikes or blows from axes. Ordinary Viking clothes were made of local materials, like wool, hemp and flax, woven by the women. On the other hand, finds from the graves of wealthy individuals show that some clothes were definitely imported. The upper classes displayed their wealth by adorning themselves in silk and gold threads from foreign parts, like Byzantium. The Vikings supplemented their attire with jewellery and furs from different animals. Men and women from all layers of society wore jewellery, in the form of necklaces, bracelets, finger and toe rings, armrings, amulets and pendants, armbands, beads, and brooches. Some of the jewellery was ornamental and it could also indicate wealth. Other items, such as brooches, often had a practical function as well – to fasten clothes. In addition, there were pieces of jewellery that had symbolic value, such as Thor’s hammers.

Beautiful collection of three small cast-bronze clothing clasp fragments. Moderate condition. A lovely encrusted green patina. Age-related wear, chip, corrosion and dents. Dirt, soil and dust. Size varies from 4,0cm to 2,5cm. Sell as a set.

References, sources and citations:

Vikings, editors, Nov 4. 2009, Updated: Jun 7, 2019. (

Vikings History: An Overview of Culture and History, History on the Net, 2000-2022, Salem Media (

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Viking". Encyclopedia Britannica, 1 Dec. 2022. (

The Viking Age, Nationalmuseet i København. (

The clothes and jewellery of the Vikings, Nationalmuseet i København.(

Viking Empires, Angelo Forte, Richard D. Oram, Richard Oram, Frederik Pedersen, Cambridge University Press, 5 May 2005.

The Vikings, Allen Mawer, 1913, Cambridge University Press. (

The Vikings, John Haywood, Sutton, 1999.