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Jean Le-Palud




Location: France
Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posts: 152

PostPosted: Thu 15 Feb, 2007 2:08 am    Post subject: Feature of some viking pommels         Reply with quote

Hi all,

Does anyone has information regarding some parts made of yellow metal encountered on the upper part of some viking pommels ?
Was this only intended to secure decorative silver wirings or is it any other known (or supposed) purpose ?

Thanks,
Jean



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Peter Johnsson
Industry Professional



Location: Storvreta, Sweden
Joined: 27 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Feb, 2007 3:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can only speak for those hilts īve personally seen (even if I suspect think this feature is the same on all those that share it).

These hilts are constructed with a U-shaped bar curving inside the hollow pommel cap.

The outer lobes depict beast heads in various degrees of simplification.

The narrow bands work like "staples" gripping arond the U-shape bar inside and at the same time might suggest ears or perhaps even horns on the beast heads.

In most cases there were also twisted wire in th grooves dividing the lobes on these pommels. These are often missing.
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Jean Le-Palud




Location: France
Joined: 11 May 2005
Reading list: 17 books

Posts: 152

PostPosted: Thu 15 Feb, 2007 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you very much Peter, for the explanation.

I suppose you mean a u-shaped rivet as on the picture, and the brass(?) bands gripping it inside the hollow upper part through holes in it. Right ?

(The picture of a H type pommel is from another thread in this forum)



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Peter Johnsson
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Location: Storvreta, Sweden
Joined: 27 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,757

PostPosted: Thu 15 Feb, 2007 10:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, that is correct.

My guess is that some kind of pitch or resin was used in combination with these "staples", filling the inside of the pommel cap and upper guard.
This material would have melted away in fire burials and could also have been of organic nature and rotted away, perhaps. I know of no traces of such material surviving in a hilt today. It just seems like a logical, practical and simple solution.
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Jeff Pringle
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Location: Oakland, CA
Joined: 19 Nov 2005

Posts: 145

PostPosted: Fri 16 Feb, 2007 7:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter -
I like the concept, but confess I'm having trouble visualizing how one could get the staple wire to wrap around a u-rivet and come up out of the pommel without a joint on the outside - I've only seen one of these models up close, and did not detect any evidence of seams.
Got a sketch or X-ray to share?
Thanks,
Jeff
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