This is a wonderful Scandinavian Viking silver Mjolnir (Thor's hammer) pendant, dating to the 9th - 11th century A.D. It is decorated with punched annulets, missing the tip of the suspension loop, an ancient break that has patinated. RARE
This object belongs to a series of Viking-period pendants thought to represent Mjolnir, the hammer of the Norse god Thor. They are found widely distributed in areas of Viking settlement from England (in the Danelaw and the northwest), Iceland and Normandy to Scandinavia and Russia, in both male and female graves, hoards and settlement sites. Over a dozen English examples are known, mostly of silver and some of which may have been made in the Danelaw. Examples include three from Leconfield, East Yorkshire, Essex, and Wetwang, East Yorkshire, reported as potential Treasure in 1998 and 2002 (L. Webster, 2000, "Leconfield (1), East Yorkshire: Viking-period silver Thor's hammer", Treasure Annual Report 1998-1999, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, p. 52, no. 88; 2002/T.168 and 2002/T.266). One from Great Witchingham, Norfolk, has a gold insert (Treasure Annual Report 2003, no. 98) and is illustrated together with other hammer pendants from Norfolk, at least two of which have perforated and broken ends, by R. Hall (2007, Exploring the World of the Vikings, London, p. 107; in lit., J. Graham-Campbell). The English ones are mostly plain, or simply decorated, e.g. the silver example from the Cuerdale hoard, Lancs. of the late 9th/beginning of the 10th century, which has a long shaft and ends in a loop for suspension (E. Hawkins, 1847, "An account of coins and treasure found in Cuerdale", Archaeological Journal, 4, pp. 111-130, fig. 85).
OBJECT: Pendant / Thors Hammer
CULTURE: Scandinavian Viking
DATE: c. 9th - 11th century A.D.
SIZE: 35.81mm x 26.74mm x 3.30mm
WEIGHT: 7.14 grams
PROVENANCE: Formerly in a private collection. Hertfordshire.
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