Viking Elf Shot Gold Pendant with Amethyst

£ 400.00

A Viking gold pendant featuring a light purple amethyst stone. The pendant is comprised of a D-shaped sheet-gold sleeve with a protruding rim. To the top is a square-set socket for a suspension loop. A-shaped pendant protrudes from the gold sleeve, made from delicate purple amethyst.

Pendants of this type are known as elf shot pendant, and would have been worn by both Viking men and women with apotropaic meanings.

Date: Circa 9th-12th Century AD
Provenance: Formerly from a late Japanese gentleman's collection, 1970-2010.
Condition: Fine. Suspension loop now missing. Amethyst fortified with residual glue, as seen on reverse.


SKU: AH-969 Category:

Both Viking men and women enjoyed wearing jewellery as an indicator of wealth and social status, wearing these pieces kept their wealth safe and secure. Jewellery held a second purpose; most Vikings would have preferred their jewellery to have been made from precious metals with the intention to be used as a currency for trade. Depending on the transaction, jewellery many have been broken up to accommodate for a more appropriate price/deal.

Pendants and amulets also held spiritual connections and were said to have bestowed the owner with protection and support such as the popular amulet of Thor’s Hammer. Elf Shot pendants, such as this example, were worn to ward off invisible elves from shooting arrows to people or animals, resulting in internal shooting pains including cramping and arthritis. It was believed that men shot by these invisible arrows would not recover and soon die. There would be no physical evidence of the wounds on the skin resulting in the theory of the elves and arrows to be more credible. Therefore, pendants were highly valued for the protection granted to their owners.

Weight 0.37 g
Dimensions L 1.2 cm




Semi-Precious Stones

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