Viking/Anglo-Scandinavian ‘Embedded Ceramic’ Weight 017341

Viking/Anglo-Scandinavian ‘Embedded Ceramic’ Weight 017341
Viking/Anglo-Scandinavian ‘Embedded Ceramic’ Weight
Lead and ceramic, 60 grams, 31.31 mm. Circa 9th-11th century AD. An elliptical Anglo-Scandinavian lead weight into the upper surface of which has been impressed a portion of decorated ceramic, apparently a section of Roman terra sigillata of the 'African red slip' type. The design is a plant motif and the lustrous red background remains despite abrasion to the raised moulded surfaces. The weight was probably produced in England, re-using a curated fragment of Roman pottery. The Viking weight system appears to have been based on the Byzantine model, and used Byzantine forms of weight in some places, but there were also local standards in, for example, Dublin which could vary by 10% or more from the wider system. Without a central authority to impose uniformity, it is likely that the Scandinavian weight system represents a trend towards standardization from diverse beginnings. (This subject is dealt with by Kruse in the reference below.) The present piece is a rare variant of the 'embedded-metalwork' form of weight. Reference: Kruse, S. Trade and Exchange Across Frontiers in Graham-Campbell, J. & Williams, G. (eds.) Silver Economy in the Viking Age, Walnut Creek, 2007. Very fine condition. Provenance: found North East England.


This item is accompanied by an illustrated Certificate of Authenticity.

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