Museum of National Antiquities

The museum's displays trace the evolution of gold ornaments in northern Europe from the end of the Stone Age around 1800 BC through the Viking Age from 800-1100 AD and into the Middle Ages. At first there were plain, unpolished gold wires, folded double and shaped into spirals of a few strands, to be worn around the arm. As gold imports increased in Roman times, with new gold mines in Spain, the spirals became much thicker and heavier. Then, between 375-550 AD, sometimes called Sweden's 'Golden Age', jewellery, probably made from melted Roman coins, became more sophisticated in the form of gold collars, of which the biggest of three in the museum has seven tiered rings of gold. Gold was rarer again in the Viking period, for little was then mined in Europe, but simple arm rings of twisted gold have been found. Finally, into the Middle Ages comes an elegant circular gold brooch from the early 14th century that is reminiscent of a rose window in a Gothic cathedral. The brooch has a six-pointed star in the centre and is set with sapphires, rubies and amethysts, with small cast-gold figures between the stones. It may be the work of a goldsmith in Paris, but was found in a river in central Sweden in 1818; the mystery is who wore it and how did it get there?

Museum of National Antiquities
Narvavägen 13 -17

Postal Address
Statens Historiska Museum
Box 5248
114 84 Stockholm

Tel.     +46 8 519 556 00
          +46 8 519 556 46 (booking group tours)

Every day 10 - 17.00 (20.00 Thursday)