Item Name Viking Scabbard Chape
Period 10th century
Culture Viking, Rus - Medieval Russia
Discovery Site Åstad
Country Öland, Sweden.
P. Paulsen, Schwertortbänder der Wikingerzeit. W. Kohlhammer: Stuttgart 1953.
Openwork bronze sword chape in form of an eagle, decorated with ring-dots. A common Swedish and Varangian form widely distributed along the Eastern Viking routes - a mould fragment at Birka shows their point of origin, but an isolated example was even found in Brittany. According to latest research the eagle may be a proto-heraldic device indicating membership in a warrior caste that plied their trade in the Baltic and Eastern routes, and the origin of the 'trident' symbol of the Russian Ryurikid dynasty still seen today on the Ukrainian flag.
Opening: 4.3cm x 2.1cm