Inspiration can also come from the past.  In the case of Vault of Valhalla, one of my Twitter followers, the really distant past!

Vince Zahle, the artisan behind the designs thoroughly researches archaeological finds to come up with the lost wax cast jewelry created from his hand sculptured molds.

The designs are not direct copies but modern ones inspired from ancient motifs of medieval Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Norse (pre-Christian Scandinavian) cultures.

The original archaeological jewelry behind Vince's pieces is meticulously noted on the site including information on"some concessions to materials and modern wear".

The Old Norse word víking meant an expedition overseas whereas víkingr referred to a sailor or warrior on such an expedition. So it's no wonder how the shop's name came about because many historical pieces once belonged to warrior chieftains and their families. Valhalla is the "hall of the slain", the mythical hall of the god, Odin.

The distinctive designs of the outstanding necklaces shown above were inspired by both Norse and Anglo Saxon artifacts.  The single Jelling beast in the center focal comes from the more elaborate twisting snake like beasts of the Jelling Cup, a silver one found in the burial site of King Gorm the Old, the first king of Denmark and his wife Thyra. The round medallions feature the "wild man" element found in Anglo-Saxon designs. While the facing birds in the end triangular pieces "are a common motif in Celtic art but executed in Anglo-Norman style."

Jelling Cup via Wikipedia

The different components of  the necklaces means that some of them could be worn separately as gorgets (protective neck collars) or used as decorations for purses and armor.

Some of Vince's pieces include brooches.  Paired brooches were apparently popular with Norse women.  The eagle motif from the Bamberg brooches were modified from that found on Queen Kunigunde's (daughter of Canute the Great)  Bamberg ivory and gilt bronze casket (jewelry box?) pictured below.

Bamberg Brooches
 Bamberg Casket (picture source)
Early brooches like the penannular brooches I wrote about before  and those by Vince below, functioned as clothes or cloak fasteners.  The "wild man" and "running wolf" elements are Anglo-Saxon in origin. Vince added a bit of Celtic style knotwork at the bridge of the brooch on the left.

This fantastic dragon cloak clasp set was inspired by a Norse one dating back to around 1000 AD or CE.

There may be no real need for cloak pins these days but the treasures from the Vault of Valhalla will still delight history and medieval re-enactment fans!

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