A pair of Viking silver fibulae with gilding in the shape of wild boars' heads with animal-style decoration, 1st half of the 10th century
Works of Art, Antiquities, Asian and Russian Art | A92kua | Live auction | 888 Lots
Post-auction salePost-auction sale
DescriptionTwo identical fibulae. Upper parts cast in the same mould in the shape of stylised heads of wild boars with gilded animal style decoration in the recesses. On both sides a complex and intricately wrought animal body with its body twisting into numerous knots and its limbs intertwined. The head with gaping maw and its jaws rolled backwards can be seen on the snout of the boar's head. In contrast to this animal figure, which is identical in the mould, the surfaces of the flat silver bars, which provide a window-like view of the twisting animal, are decorated with similar but individually varying niello patterns, including geometric and braided band motifs. On the underside, the hollow fibulae are closed by a trapezoidal sheet silver plaque with rounded corners. This is held in place by eight flat-knocked pins extending from the edge of the cast top. Similar, but individually executed niello decoration with braided band on the plaque. At the front, below the snout, the sheet metal has been cut into a U shape and the strip of sheet metal outlined with the cut is bent into a curved pin holder. At the back, a U-shaped sheet metal strip with rounded ends is soldered onto the plaque in which the pin is held from the sides with a rod. The eye of the pin is made by bending the flattened end backwards and upwards.
Traces of cleaning, otherwise in excellent condition. Length 5.3 cm. Height without pin holder 2.6 cm, with pin holder 3.0 cm. Weight 57.22 g and 52.36 g.
An exceptionally rare pair of magnificent Viking fibulae with an exemplary animal style in excellent quality.
Provenance: Southern German private collection.
Condition: I - II Questions about the lot?