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L. Mitchell





Joined: 27 Nov 2016

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu 01 Dec, 2016 7:33 pm    Post subject: Vendel 14 helmet: trying to source a photo         Reply with quote

Hi all,

This site came up while Googling the Valsgärde helmets, and I was impressed by all the knowledge here! I'm trying to find the source of a photo of the Vendel 14 helmet, and am hoping someone here might have an idea.

I've been reading about the Sutton Hoo helmet and its two reconstructions. As I understand it, both reconstructions (maybe the first more than the second) relied to an extent on knowledge of the Valsgärde and Vendel helmets, although more information was published or otherwise available in 1970 (second reconstruction) than in 1945 (first reconstruction). The "dancing warriors" design, for instance, was only recognized when Rupert Bruce-Mitford saw a similar pattern on the Valsgärde 7 helmet during a visit to Sweden after the first reconstruction. He published the finding in "The Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial" in 1949, while Greta Arwidsson published her book on that grave in 1977. Herbert Maryon's 1947 paper "The Sutton Hoo Helmet" mentions Bruce-Mitford's (at that point unpublished) finding, and also references Vendel helmets 1 and 12, and Valsgärde helmets 5 and 8.

There are two photos from ~1951 of Maryon with the first reconstruction of the Sutton Hoo helmet (photo 1 and photo 2), which also show pictures of two other helmets: Valsgärde 6, taken from plate 1 of Arwidsson's identically titled 1942 book, and Vendel 14. A third photo again shows the Sutton Hoo helmet, this time with sword; the Vendel 14 photo is again profiled, while Arwidsson's book on Valsgärde 6 is opened to plate 14, showing the sword hilt.

Does anyone have any idea where the photo of the Vendel 14 helmet, seen in the above three photos, originated? It's clear that the photo of the Valsgärde 6 helmet came from Arwidsson's 1942 book, but the photo of the Vendel helmet doesn't appear to be from a book at all. Were there any journal articles, or other sources, that predated the first ~1945 reconstruction and might have included that photo?

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

Posts: 483

PostPosted: Wed 07 Dec, 2016 3:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I can tell you that the photo was taken by Nils Lagergren in the early 1940s, following Hilmer Gelin's reconstruction of the Vendel XIV (and also of XII and I). Other photos taken at the same time were published in an article in Fornvännen (Vendelhjälmarna i ny rekonstruktion - Sune Linqvist) which you can access here:-

http://kulturarvsdata.se/raa/fornvannen/html/1950_001

Your particular photo is one of many thousands which languish, unpublished, in the Historiska Museet, following decades of academic in-fighting which has prevented the Vendel finds from being fully published.

Fortunately, under the guidance of Neil Price, it looks like this situation might finally be moving forward.

I have a few good photos of the helmet myself if you're interested and my group, Wulfheodenas, owns two excellent reconstructions.

Hope that's helpful.

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Jim Manners




Location: Canada
Joined: 04 May 2007

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue 17 Jan, 2017 5:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
Your particular photo is one of many thousands which languish, unpublished, in the Historiska Museet, following decades of academic in-fighting which has prevented the Vendel finds from being fully published.

Fortunately, under the guidance of Neil Price, it looks like this situation might finally be moving forward.


Good information. It always irked me that the Sutton Hoo ship burial has been covered excellently by Rupert Bruce-Mitford but very little exists about the Vendel finds.

Let's hope Neil Price can further the research
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Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 802

PostPosted: Tue 17 Jan, 2017 10:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:

I have a few good photos of the helmet myself if you're interested and my group, Wulfheodenas, owns two excellent reconstructions.

Hope that's helpful.
How about posting the images here?
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L. Mitchell





Joined: 27 Nov 2016

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun 22 Jan, 2017 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
Well, I can tell you that the photo was taken by Nils Lagergren in the early 1940s, following Hilmer Gelin's reconstruction of the Vendel XIV (and also of XII and I). Other photos taken at the same time were published in an article in Fornvännen (Vendelhjälmarna i ny rekonstruktion - Sune Linqvist) which you can access here:-

http://kulturarvsdata.se/raa/fornvannen/html/1950_001

Your particular photo is one of many thousands which languish, unpublished, in the Historiska Museet, following decades of academic in-fighting which has prevented the Vendel finds from being fully published.

Fortunately, under the guidance of Neil Price, it looks like this situation might finally be moving forward.

I have a few good photos of the helmet myself if you're interested and my group, Wulfheodenas, owns two excellent reconstructions.

Hope that's helpful.


That's hugely helpful, thank you for the information! Thanks for the article, too; there's something ironic about the photos of the Sutton Hoo helmet being seen next to the "re-reconstruction" of the Vendel IV helm, when the former would undergo the same treatment some 20 years later.

Would love to see your photos of the helmet and the reconstructions.

Interesting that you mention Neil Price, as yesterday I was reading the 2014 article by him and Paul Mortimer about the lack of gold foil behind the cloisonné inlays on the sinister side of the SH helm. Would be great to see what he has to say about the Vendel graves.
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