Posts

Showing posts from February, 2016

The Viking Mammen Style on a Rare British Brooch

Image
The Mammen style in the sequence of Viking art styles is very rarely encountered on artefacts found in the British Isles (Kershaw 2013). It has been documented on two brooches (held in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford), one from West Stow Heath, Suffolk and the other from Bergh Apton, Norfolk (Hinton 1974, Kershaw 2013).

The design on these brooches consists of a stylised bird with backward looking head from which a long head lappet extends, forming an interlace pattern with the bird's tail and wings. A leg with clawed foot is also depicted. The bird is designed to provide a compact fit into the square frame of the brooch.

Kershaw (2013) notes that whereas the Mammen style of the bird is Scandinavian in origin, the square design of the brooch is broadly comparable with some rectangular fibulae found in northern Germany and the Netherlands. These are dated to the tenth century, which is consistent with the appearance of the Mammen style in Scandinavia.

Two other specimens of this form…