The third post in our advent calendar is a small spindle whorl from the city of Sigtuna, Sweden.
It’s made from a femoral head. The shape have been adjusted from the original shape and the whorl have now a cone shape. That shape is not so common with the whorls made out of femoral heads. So someone put some effort into this piece.
Right now we not 100% certain on the dating. But roughly it’s the same age as the other finds from Sigtuna. Approx. late 10th century – early 14th. Will update when we have the correct info.
Spindel whorls made of bone have been found at many archeological excavations, from Swedish cities. They are dated from late 10th century and onwards to the 14-15th century. The design is as simple as it is genius. A femoral head from an animal have been cut in half and a hole have been drilled in the centre of the semicircle piece. Creating a perfectly round spindle whorl. Sometimes a disc have been cut from the femoral head, making a slightly lighter whorl.
The whorls are sometimes decorated. Most common are the plain once.
The spindle whorl from Sigtuna is just one out of many, and we plan to post more pictures and measurements from them here on the blog.
SF 1502:ac inv. 123464 The spindle whorl measures 442mm wide, 24 mm thick. It weighs 22g. Dating- this whorl is undated, but similar whorls have been found from Sigtuna and they are dated 985-1000, 1075-1100, 1125-1175. So we can put this whorl in the same time.
Today it can be found in the collections of Sigtuna museum. Sigtuna was the first city in Sweden and the city was founded at the end of the 10th century. The city is very cute and if you ever visit Stockholm or Uppsala- take a detour to Sigtuna!
As some of you may already know, Amica Sundström from Historical Textiles, works at the Swedish History Museum as textile curator. Today, together with Thomas Neijman, she held a guided tour for a group of people with a special interest for medieval metal works. The armourerAlbert Collins, Via Armoari, celebrates 20 years as a professional armourer this weekend and he has a big party to celebrate this. Plenty of people have travel to Stockholm just for this occasion. The group that came to the museum took the chance to visit the special tour today when in the neighborhood.
Albert also, as many of you may already know, just had a kickstarter campaign get help with the funding, in order to reintroduce armourer as a official craft in Sweden. The last master armourer we had in Sweden was during the late 18th century. After the last master died the craft was official gone.
Albert’s kickstarter campaign has been fully funded and it is incredibly pleasing that it will once again be possible to reintroduce this craft to the Swedish craft council.
We are incredibly happy about this and therefore deviate from our usual theme of displaying textiles. We will this weekend display a mix of photo on various types of medieval (and some older) metal items that are parts of the collections of the Swedish History Museum.
Hope you can forgive this textile free Friday. <3
ps. There are of course some pictures of things that are related to textiles such as scissors, pins etc.
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