Imagine the arrival: dogs barking, children running alongside the incoming trader’s sleds. Men warily looking up from their work. Women excited. Would the traders begin negotiating right away in the short day’s winter light or would they wait for the drama of evening, villagers gathered around a fire. The golden bronze patterns glowing in the firelight. Admiring women letting their men know which designs they wanted. A lot of talk. The best furs coming out for the trade.
We recently acquired three authentic 1,000-year-old bronze Viking bracelets found by scuba divers in Lake Lagoda’s* shallow near-shore waters. We bought them at an international rare antiquities auction. These Viking Bracelets were made for trade. Jewelry was an ideal item for trade: small, compact, beautiful, desirable, it traveled well; and when new and made in bronze, they glowed like gold.
The beauty of these flat strap bracelets captured the fancy of women everywhere in the Viking world. In the winter, as the rivers which flowed into the Baltic Sea froze over, they became express highways into the remote regions of Germany and Russia. Viking traders loaded their dog sleds with jewelry and made the dash for the wild interior. Their goal: to visit as many large and small villages as they could along lakes and rivers where they would trade for large pelts and small furs, which had great value at their trading centers back at the coast.
Our reason for acquiring these trade bracelets was to rescue these lovely patterns for modern women. We have maintained the rustic detail of their gentle lake aging. We have also duplicated the inside bevel on the original bracelets making these bracelets super comfortable. *Europe’s largest lake.
This is a true story. Viking trader following a frozen river. Moving swiftly. Dogsled laden with trade jewelry. Lashed down secure. River opening onto a frozen lake. Skirting the shoreline. Making good time. A brilliant winter morning. Hitting a patch of thin ice. The sled, its cargo, drifting down, drifting down.
A thousand years later scuba divers find a hoard of jewelry preserved in the soft mud. Hundreds of pieces. From a mysterious German collector and an international auction of rare antiquities, we acquired three choice handstamped flat-strap Viking trade bracelets. We’ve reproduced them in sterling silver, capturing exquisite original detail and a thousand years of gentle lake aging.
Rescuing these patterns after a thousand years was a miracle. The original Viking bracelets are on display in our store with our new sterling silver re-creations. Fits standard size wrist.
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