Northern Europe, Viking / Norse culture, ca. 1000 CE. A bronze torc (torq / torque) made of a thick bronze wire with two pieces of thinner wire wrapped around it from each terminal. The terminals are a flattened piece of bronze on one side and a twisted piece of bronze wire on the other. Size: 8.4" W (21.3 cm)
The Vikings - groups of people who left Scandinavia to plunder and colonize northern Europe (and who travelled as far afield as northeastern North America and the great kingdoms of the Middle East) - had a distinctive artistic tradition, although many of the metals that they had were acquired through conquest and the bronze for this belt likely was melted down from other bronze objects, perhaps some acquired by looting a monastery or trading in the Mediterranean. Bronze jewelry also served as a form of easily transported coinage; this piece would have spoken to the wealth of its owner.
Provenance: Ex-private LA County, USA collection formed over the period between 1980 and 2000
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