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Question about Omega brooches

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  • Catherine Olanich Raymond
    There are a number finds of a kind of small penannular brooch with a large, trapezoidal ends that have turned up in Russia during the Viking Age, or possibly
    Message 1 of 11 , Oct 4 8:42 PM
      There are a number finds of a kind of small penannular brooch with a large,
      trapezoidal ends that have turned up in Russia during the Viking Age, or
      possibly somewhat after that period. I've heard of them being called "Omega
      brooches" based on the shape. So far as I know, they've only been found in
      Russia. On the Internet, they mostly turn up on the pages of sellers of
      antiquities; there's a handsome example of the type of brooch I mean shown
      here:

      http://time-lines.co.uk/viking-derivative-mordvinian-omega-penannular-
      brooch-015264-25221-0.html

      A vendor of period reproduction jewelry has said his website that this kind of
      brooch was worn on apron dresses. I know of no basis for that claim, and it
      strikes me as false just from the geometry of the matter (penannular brooches
      work because the pin pierces a section of fabric that's been pulled through
      the ring, while apron dresses involve brooch pins passing through fabric
      loops).

      Anyway, is anyone on the list familiar with any documentation involving this
      type of brooch? Any information or suggestions for where to look for
      information would be appreciated. Thanks.

      --
      Cathy Raymond <cathy@...>

      "A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do."
      --Walter Bagehot




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Lisa Kies
      Greetings from Sofya! Such broaches are conspicuously absent from the dozens of pages of metal decorative objects in B.A. Kolchin s äÒÅ×ÎÑÑ òÕÓØ
      Message 2 of 11 , Oct 5 7:11 PM
        Greetings from Sofya!

        Such broaches are conspicuously absent from the dozens of pages of metal
        decorative objects in B.A. Kolchin's ������� ���� ��� � �������� (Ancient
        Rus Lifeways and Culture). I do not see them in V.M. Vasilenko's 430 page
        book ������� ���������� ��������� (Russian Applied Art) which is all about
        such things. I also do not see them in M.G. Rabinovich's ������� ������
        ������� ��������� ������ (Ancient Clothing of the People of Eastern
        Europe). Kolchin discusses several ancient Russian tribes, and the
        Mordvinians are absent from his list. The Vyatichi were the East Slav tribe
        that eventually settled the Volga basin.

        According to George Vernadsky in Ancient Russia, the Mordva were an East
        Finnic tribe living in the Volga area. This explains why their artifacts
        are not in my books on the ancient Rus. They're not really "Russian". When
        Vernadsky briefly discusses the lifeways of the Mordovians, he references
        Gotie, Yu. V. Zheleznyi Vek v Vostochnoi Evrope [The Iron Age in Eastern
        Europe] (Moscow-Leningrad, 1930). He says "Women also wore bronze and
        silver pendants, earrings, and buckles." Gotie probably has further
        details, but I have no idea how you would get a copy.

        I agree with you that it seems unlikely that such pins would be worn with
        apron dresses. First of all, it seems impractical as you point out.
        Second, I don't know that the Finnic tribes wore apron dresses. The
        "Vikings" wore them, but the Slavs didn't.

        I hope that helps.

        At your service,

        Sofya

        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Lisa M. Kies, MD aka Sofya la Rus, OL, CW, CSH, druzhinnitsa Kramolnikova
        Mason City, IA aka Shire of Heraldshill, Calontir
        http://www.strangelove.net/~kieser
        "Si no necare, sana." "Mir znachit Pax Romanov"
        "Nasytivshimsya knizhnoj sladosti."
        -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Catherine Olanich Raymond
        ... Really? That s interesting. I knew they didn t turn up in Scandinavia, but I thought Eastern Europe would be a different story. ... The one example I
        Message 3 of 11 , Oct 5 7:54 PM
          On Monday 05 October 2009 10:11:22 pm Lisa Kies wrote:
          > Greetings from Sofya!
          >
          > Such broaches are conspicuously absent from the dozens of pages of metal
          > decorative objects in B.A. Kolchin's ������� ���� ��� � �������� (Ancient
          > Rus Lifeways and Culture). I do not see them in V.M. Vasilenko's 430 page
          > book ������� ���������� ��������� (Russian Applied Art) which is all about
          > such things. I also do not see them in M.G. Rabinovich's ������� ������
          > ������� ��������� ������ (Ancient Clothing of the People of Eastern
          > Europe).

          Really? That's interesting. I knew they didn't turn up in Scandinavia, but I
          thought Eastern Europe would be a different story.


          > Kolchin discusses several ancient Russian tribes, and the
          > Mordvinians are absent from his list. The Vyatichi were the East Slav
          > tribe that eventually settled the Volga basin.
          >
          > According to George Vernadsky in Ancient Russia, the Mordva were an East
          > Finnic tribe living in the Volga area. This explains why their artifacts
          > are not in my books on the ancient Rus. They're not really "Russian".

          The one example I posted was Mordvanian (or whatever the adjectival form
          should be). I've seen others, but I'm afraid I have not kept track of where
          they allegedly were dug up.

          The one that Raymond of Raymond's Quiet Press reproduces supposedly came from
          near Lake Ladoga. Here's a picture of his reproduction alongside the original
          find, which he says is from the collection of one of his customers:

          http://www.quietpress.com/Images4/X-95D.JPG

          and here's the web page (it's about 2/3rd of the way down the page:

          http://www.quietpress.com/vikingbrooch.html



          > When Vernadsky briefly discusses the lifeways of the Mordovians, he
          > references Gotie, Yu. V. Zheleznyi Vek v Vostochnoi Evrope [The Iron Age
          > in Eastern Europe] (Moscow-Leningrad, 1930). He says "Women also wore
          > bronze and silver pendants, earrings, and buckles." Gotie probably has
          > further details, but I have no idea how you would get a copy.

          Nor do I have any idea how I'd read it, since it's been decades since my last
          attempt to learn Russian. Perhaps after I retire? ;-) Still, I appreciate
          having a source citation--I could try to look it up sometime.

          >
          > I agree with you that it seems unlikely that such pins would be worn with
          > apron dresses. First of all, it seems impractical as you point out.
          > Second, I don't know that the Finnic tribes wore apron dresses. The
          > "Vikings" wore them, but the Slavs didn't.

          RIght. I knew that. What I was hoping for was information about the contexts
          in which such brooches have been found. Perhaps Gotie has some answers.


          >
          > I hope that helps.

          It helps a little. Thanks for your trouble!


          --

          Cathy Raymond <cathy@...>

          "A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do."
          --Walter Bagehot




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • H D
          ... Vikings wore them, but the Slavs didn t. My one and a half cents - the Finno-Ugric Livs, in the Baltics, wore apron dresses. They do appear to be with
          Message 4 of 11 , Oct 6 3:49 AM
            >Second, I don't know that the Finnic tribes wore apron dresses. The
            "Vikings" wore them, but the Slavs didn't.>

            My one and a half cents - the Finno-Ugric Livs, in the Baltics, wore apron dresses. They do appear to be with the 'tortoise' type brooches though, and I've never seens pennanular broochs with such extended ends anywhere near the region.

            Cheers,
            Hilary
          • mfrykas@mts.net
            ... The following is based on pure speculation: It appears that these broaches are small (unless those beads and shells are huge). Pins in this fashion
            Message 5 of 11 , Oct 6 7:58 AM
              >The one that Raymond of Raymond's Quiet Press reproduces supposedly came from
              > near Lake Ladoga. Here's a picture of his reproduction alongside the original
              > find, which he says is from the collection of one of his customers:
              >
              > http://www.quietpress.com/Images4/X-95D.JPG
              >
              > and here's the web page (it's about 2/3rd of the way down the page:
              >
              > http://www.quietpress.com/vikingbrooch.html
              >

              The following is based on pure speculation: It appears that these broaches are small (unless those beads and shells are huge). Pins in this fashion generally pierce fabric. My guess is that it was a pin that fastened necklaces to the Viking apron dress.

              Michele (Dzinovia)
            • Barbara
              Raymond gives measurements on his page: 2 3/8 x 1 1/2 . Not very large at all. Mir! Tatjana It s never too late to be what you might have been. Wolf and
              Message 6 of 11 , Oct 6 8:46 AM
                Raymond gives measurements on his page: 2 3/8" x 1 1/2". Not very large
                at all.

                Mir!
                Tatjana

                "It's never too late to be what you might have been."


                Wolf and Tiger Woodworking
                http://www.wolfandtiger.com

                ----- Original Message -----



                > >The one that Raymond of Raymond's Quiet Press reproduces supposedly came
                > >from
                >> near Lake Ladoga. Here's a picture of his reproduction alongside the
                >> original
                >> find, which he says is from the collection of one of his customers:
                >>
                >> http://www.quietpress.com/Images4/X-95D.JPG
                >>
                >> and here's the web page (it's about 2/3rd of the way down the page:
                >>
                >> http://www.quietpress.com/vikingbrooch.html
                >>
                >
                > The following is based on pure speculation: It appears that these
                > broaches are small (unless those beads and shells are huge). Pins in this
                > fashion generally pierce fabric. My guess is that it was a pin that
                > fastened necklaces to the Viking apron dress.
                >
                > Michele (Dzinovia)
                >
              • Quokkaqueen
                The closest shape I can think of, is a Liv _annular_ brooch with all the danglies hanging off it.
                Message 7 of 11 , Oct 6 3:54 PM
                  The closest shape I can think of, is a Liv _annular_ brooch with all the danglies hanging off it.
                  http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v244/quokkaqueen/sig/rota2.jpg
                  (from: http://www.history-museum.lv/english/pages/krajums/arheologija.php)

                  But that still is a stretch between the two brooch styles.

                  As for Finns and apron dresses, there are reconstructions that combine penannular brooches and the overdress, but that is a 'peplos' style gown. However, those brooches are pretty darn big, when compared to the 'omega brooch' dimensions.

                  eg. http://artos.pp.fi/heinola-seura/tapahtumat/muinaispuvut_2007.htm The first photo is the older-style reconstruction from Pernio, with penannulars, and if you scroll down the orange and blue one from Masku has the peplos-style overdress with penannular brooches.

                  However I can't remember seeing any 'omega brooch' shaped objects in any articles about Finnish finds.

                  Sorry, my memory was jogged,
                  ~Asfridhr

                  --- In sig@yahoogroups.com, H D <hillofbees@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > >Second, I don't know that the Finnic tribes wore apron dresses. The
                  > "Vikings" wore them, but the Slavs didn't.>
                  >
                  > My one and a half cents - the Finno-Ugric Livs, in the Baltics, wore apron dresses. They do appear to be with the 'tortoise' type brooches though, and I've never seens pennanular broochs with such extended ends anywhere near the region.
                  >
                  > Cheers,
                  > Hilary
                  >
                • Catherine Olanich Raymond
                  ... That s true. An acquaintance of mine pointed out that the size would make it impractical to use them to secure an apron dress. -- Cathy Raymond
                  Message 8 of 11 , Oct 6 8:01 PM
                    On Tuesday 06 October 2009 11:46:35 am Barbara wrote:
                    > Raymond gives measurements on his page: 2 3/8" x 1 1/2". Not very large
                    > at all.

                    That's true. An acquaintance of mine pointed out that the size would make it
                    impractical to use them to secure an apron dress.


                    --

                    Cathy Raymond <cathy@...>

                    "A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do."
                    --Walter Bagehot




                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Catherine Olanich Raymond
                    ... Perhaps that s what Raymond meant. However, I don t know of any of these brooches being associated with a Viking find, either in Scandinavia or anywhere
                    Message 9 of 11 , Oct 6 8:23 PM
                      On Tuesday 06 October 2009 10:58:28 am mfrykas@... wrote:
                      > >The one that Raymond of Raymond's Quiet Press reproduces supposedly came
                      > > from near Lake Ladoga. Here's a picture of his reproduction alongside
                      > > the original find, which he says is from the collection of one of his
                      > > customers:
                      > >
                      > > http://www.quietpress.com/Images4/X-95D.JPG
                      > >
                      > > and here's the web page (it's about 2/3rd of the way down the page:
                      > >
                      > > http://www.quietpress.com/vikingbrooch.html
                      >
                      > The following is based on pure speculation: It appears that these broaches
                      > are small (unless those beads and shells are huge). Pins in this fashion
                      > generally pierce fabric. My guess is that it was a pin that fastened
                      > necklaces to the Viking apron dress.

                      Perhaps that's what Raymond meant. However, I don't know of any of these
                      brooches being associated with a Viking find, either in Scandinavia or anywhere
                      else (Ireland, England). Lisa says they don't show up in Slavic graves,
                      either. I don't even know whether they show up singly, in pairs, or in
                      multiples in any graves where they have been found.

                      --

                      Cathy Raymond <cathy@...>

                      "A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do."
                      --Walter Bagehot




                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Catherine Olanich Raymond
                      ... That s not quite right. They wore the peplos--an unshaped overdress like the garment of the ancient Romans and Greeks. With a peplos, you just pin your
                      Message 10 of 11 , Oct 6 8:43 PM
                        On Tuesday 06 October 2009 6:49:33 am H D wrote:
                        > >Second, I don't know that the Finnic tribes wore apron dresses. The
                        >
                        > "Vikings" wore them, but the Slavs didn't.>
                        >
                        > My one and a half cents - the Finno-Ugric Livs, in the Baltics, wore apron
                        > dresses.

                        That's not quite right. They wore the peplos--an unshaped overdress like the
                        garment of the ancient Romans and Greeks. With a peplos, you just pin your
                        brooches directly into the cloth; you don't put the pin through special
                        purpose loops as is the case with apron dresses. Finnish costume of the
                        period is believed to have looked more like this:

                        http://www.katajahovi.org/SatuHovi/pic/ope_0018.JPG

                        The webpage where I found that picture describes the costume more, and the
                        author's recreation of it:

                        http://www.katajahovi.org/SatuHovi/muinaispuvunValmistaminen.html

                        There are sketches of costumes based on other early Finnish finds here
                        (unfortunately the page is in Finnish):

                        http://www.student.oulu.fi/~jek/liitteet.html

                        I've seen a reproduction of a 13th (?) Latvian costume that also included a
                        peplos, but I can't find it right now.

                        > They do appear to be with the 'tortoise' type brooches though, and
                        > I've never seens pennanular broochs with such extended ends anywhere near
                        > the region.

                        As someone pointed out, the brooches tend to be small (the ring is about 2.5
                        cm/1 inch across). That would be too small to easily use to fasten a peplos
                        unless the fabric was finer than even period luxury fabrics could be.

                        That's why it matters whether the brooches are found in pairs, since that
                        would permit a bit of hypothesizing about their use. If they are found as
                        singletons, maybe they closed the neckline of a tunic. If they really are
                        found in pairs, perhaps they fastened bead strings or chains to the front of
                        another garment. Without further information, though, the mystery will have
                        to continue.




                        --

                        Cathy Raymond <cathy@...>

                        "A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do."
                        --Walter Bagehot




                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Quokkaqueen
                        Resurrecting a thread from two(!) years ago: ... ... Hopefully I ve managed to put together some information (finally!) about these
                        Message 11 of 11 , Sep 17, 2011
                          Resurrecting a thread from two(!) years ago:

                          <<snip>>
                          > There are a number finds of a kind of small penannular brooch with a large, trapezoidal ends that have turned up in Russia during the Viking Age, or possibly somewhat after that period. I've heard of them being called "Omega brooches" based on the shape. So far as I know, they've only been found in Russia.
                          <<snip>>
                          > Anyway, is anyone on the list familiar with any documentation involving this type of brooch?
                          <<snip>>

                          Hopefully I've managed to put together some information (finally!) about these brooches. It's mostly aimed at answering the questions of they are Viking Age, and were worn by Norsewomen (the answers seem to be 'no' and 'no'). But, it adds to some stuff I've written up for Slovo that might be useful:
                          http://www.medieval-baltic.us/syulgam.pdf

                          Hope it helps (or even better, inspires someone to look into Mordvin material culture which would be downright awesome!)

                          Asfridhr, shameless self-promoter.
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