Sword Scabbard Chapes

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Completion Rating
This article's completion rating is 1 out of 5. Article planned for future work. No real progress to date.
Completion Rating
This article's completion rating is 1 out of 5. Article planned for future work. No real progress to date.
Viking Age Compendium articles on Swords:
VA Scabbard Chapes.jpg
Sword Scabbard Chapes
Viking Age Compendium articles on Swords:
VA Scabbard Chapes.jpg
Sword Scabbard Chapes


Introduction

This article is about metal fittings that were probably attached to Sword Scabbards. I understand that Peter Paulsen comprehensibly covered the subject of Viking sword scabbard chapes in 1953 in his book Schwertortbänder der Wikingerzeit. Unfortunately we do not have access to this volume and so have created our own typology as detailed below.

English Styles

Ashwell.jpg

Art
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Literature
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Archaeology

Discussion
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Borre Style 1

Bautzen chape.jpg

875-950AD
Odin as shape-shifting sorcerer and shaman. Protection. [HEDENSTIERNA-JONSON 2006b:p.321] A small group of sword chapes combining Borre style decoration with a possible Christian motif - the Crucifixion. Possibly originated in Denmark. [HEDENSTIERNA-JONSON 2006b:p.315]
Art
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Literature
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Archaeology

Discussion
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Borre Style 2

Humberside chape.jpg

9th/10th Century
Art
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Literature
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Archaeology

  • England, Hull [MILLS 2001]:p101 fig.V281
  • Iceland, Ljarskogar [HAYEUR SMITH 2003:p.354 no.5072]

Discussion
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Borre Style 3

R516.jpg

Paulsen's 'Valleberga' type
Art
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Literature
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Archaeology

  • Denmark
  • Norway
    • Norway. R516. [RYGH 1885:R516]
  • Iceland
    • Hafurbjarnarstodum, Iceland. [WOV 2003]:p.7091 [HAYEUR SMITH 2003:p.168]
  • Sweden

Discussion
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Wolin Chape.jpg

A variation on this type only seemingly found in Poland is Paulsen's type Ib2. Dated to 900-1025AD. [JANOWSKI 2006]:p.181 [JANOWSKI 2007]:p.157-159.


Jelling

Gjermundbu chape.jpg

More usually found around the Baltic area. [GRAHAM-CAMPBELL 1980]:cat.273.. 19 examples found in 6 different countries (Denmark, Germany, Iceland, England, Sweden & Russia) [CITE V2C?].
Art
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Literature
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Archaeology

Discussion
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Bird (Falcon) style

L'lle de Groix Sword Scabbard Chape.jpg

Otherwise known as the 'Birka Bird'. Paulsen's type 'Scandinavian-Varangian'. Dated from late C9th to early C11th although at its most popular in the first half of the C10th. Hedenstierna Jonson identifies 67 finds spread mainly in Eastern Europe from Sweden to Byzantium [HEDENSTIERNA-JONSON 2006b:p.]
Art
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Literature
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Archaeology

Discussion
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The travellingnorth.nl blog has a good article about this kind of chape.

Eastern Styles


See Also

Swords Sword Scabbards

References

Cameron, Esther A. (2000) Sheaths and Scabbards in England AD400-1100. British Archaeological Reports: BAR 301 [CAMERON 2000] ^ *
Edwards, B.J.N. (1998) Vikings in North West England. The Artifacts. [EDWARDS 1998] ^ *
Graham-Campbell, James (ed.) (1980) Viking Artefacts, A Select Catalogue. British Museum Publications. [GRAHAM-CAMPBELL 1980] ^ 1 2 3 4 *
Hammond, Brett (2010) British Artefacts, Volume 2 - Middle Saxon & Viking. Greenlight Publishing. [HAMMOND 2010] ^ *
[HAYEUR 2003] *
[HEDENSTIERNA 2006B] *
Janowski, Andrzej (2006) 'GOTLANDZKI TRZEWIK POCHWY MIECZA Z PRZEDSTAWIENIEM DRZEWA ZYCIA ZE SZCZECIÑSKIEGO PODZAMCZA' [Gotland sword chapes with representations of the Tree of Life]. [JANOWSKI 2006] ^ *
Janowski, Andrzej (2007) 'Wczesnośredniowieczne okucia pochew mieczy tzw' [Early medieval sword scabbard fittings]. Trzewiki. [JANOWSKI 2007] ^ *
Mills, Nigel (2001) Saxon & Viking Artifacts. Greenlight Publishing. [MILLS 2001] ^ *
Roesdahl, Else, and Wilson, David M. (eds.) (1992) From Viking to Crusader, The Scandinavians and Europe 800-1200. Nordic Council of Ministers. [ROESDAHL & WILSON 1992] ^ 1 2 3 4 5 *
Wilson, David M. (1965) Some neglected late Anglo-Saxon swords. Medieval Archaeology: Vol.9 [WILSON 1965] *
Council of Europe (2003) World of the Vikings. CD-ROM. Alive Learning Ltd. [WOV 2003] ^ 1 2 3 4 *