Large Trefoil Brooch With Gripping Beasts
I have copied this large trefoil from an amazing brooch found in Norway, covered in an interlocking scrummage of gripping beasts.
The trefoil brooch, worn by Viking women to close a cloak or shawl, has a fascinating history. It began as a sword-belt fitting plundered from the Franks. The Vikings added pins to these tri-lobed shapes and gave them to their women. But the unusual shape caught on, and the Viking craftsmen began to make their own trefoil brooches with their own very individual Viking art style.
This is where the gripping beasts come in. Spirited, humourous animals gripping themselves or other things around them - they are a fascinating and exhuberant expression of the Viking Age. They survived for a century and a half, from the 9th - 10th centuries, carved in many different forms by Viking craftsmen. Yet, for all that, their meaning remains a mystery.
Yet who could deny that they stand as witness to the viking sense of humour?
Longest measurement 73mm