Northan Viking Silver is a small designer-maker workshop, run by Alban Depper and Rachel Lee, producing exceptional Viking Age jewellery from our own unique designs.
We take great pride in our work and we enjoy a personal relationship with our customers around the world. The pieces we make keep the living art of Viking tradition alive, and we seek to build a connection between you and the finished piece.
Alban is the artist, his job is to seek inspiration and create designs. He pores over pictures of archaeological finds looking for ideas or spends hours looking through the showcases and secret stores of museums. He channels this knowledge onto his workbench, creating stunning jewellery pieces.
Alban carves the original artwork into blue jeweller’s wax. Once this modelling is complete, the casting is undertaken by our partners, personally selected by us because of the great pride they take in their work. Although using modern tools and machines, they still practice the skills of the lost wax technique that was used by the Vikings. The casting is done in either a rich bronze or 925 sterling silver. Each piece is then individually finished by hand, including an antique patina to enhance the pattern.
Alban has been immersed in Viking heritage for over 35 years, first with a university study of the language and literature, then with a personal study of their art. He made his first jewellery pieces in 1994 and since then has specialised in the unique and dynamic art of the Vikings.
He has also been deeply involved in the world of Viking re-enactment, particularly fighting with steel weapons, venturing in the wilderness using Viking gear and travelling to the many different regions where modern Viking groups meet
Rachel brings our work to you. She handles the day to day running of the workshop and business. She joined Alban 7 years ago, having left her job in the City of London. They are a great team, and both spend part of the year touring around Europe to specialist Viking events.
WHAT MAKES US SPECIAL?
The Makers Mark – We are proud of every piece we make and each one is marked with the A-rune, the first letter of the craftsman's name – Alban.
OUR KNOWLEDGE - WHAT DO THE SYMBOLS MEAN?
The Vikings inhabited a world intertwined with a belief in spirits and the Otherworld, and their art is an expression of this. We no longer inhabit the same world today and much of this old lore has been lost. Often we cannot be sure what a symbol meant or even the identity of the beasts on their artwork. Any interpretation is subjective. Nevertheless, these designs still touch us today, their roots run deep. You may have to study the myths and archaeology, or just listen to your own heart to find your own meanings in these beautiful pieces.
PASSION FOR THE SUBJECT - VIKING ART
For three hundred years from the 8th to the 11th century, the Viking civilisation spread across the world, driven by incredible energy.
Originating in the northern Scandinavian countries, they expanded to all points of the compass, both as traders and raiders. Their longships took them around the Mediterranean Sea, down Russian rivers as far as Byzantium (modern day Istanbul), across the ocean as far as North America.
The uniqueness of their art reflects this driving vitality.
Archaeologists have named the different styles after particular finds and the periods to which they belonged. These are not, of course, the names that the Vikings themselves used!
Broa/Oseberg style immerged around 770 CE. Then came the Borre style, from around 850, and this stuck around until the late 900s. Overlapping with it, the Jelling style occupied much of the 10th century, from around 890 until the late 900s, gradually giving way to the Mammen style in the late 10th century. This, in turn, developed into the florid Ringerike style from around the year 1000, which itself developed into the simple elegance of the Urnes, continuing as late as the early 1100s.
After that what happened? As Scandinavian societies conformed to the Christian organisation of the rest of Europe, they lost their independent individuality, as the Viking Age gave way in the 11th - 12th centuries to the Middle Ages.
These art styles of the Viking Age were not regional, (despite the names that the Archaeologists use!) and as they came into fashion and developed, the Viking craftsmen copied the designs from one another. This produces many variations of the same type of design, lying in the earth waiting to be rediscovered.