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Viking Art on Stamps: (MAMMEN)
August 1999



fig 8

fig 9

Fig 8

Fig 9


The artists, as always, ever creating, developed double lines, cockeral proud heads, spirals at the hips and foliation. An axehead depicting an animal, and inlaid with silver was discovered on Jutland at Mammen. This style can be seen on the side of the Jelling stone (Fig 8).

Note the spiral hips, foliation and a snake entwined in the so-called "Great Beast." Was the "Great Beast" sculpted later on the Jelling stone or is this an example of overlap? The "Great Beast" survives throughout the Viking era. Bands, spirals and stylized heads spread geographically and are seen on a monstrous head (Fig 9).


fig 10


A wonderful demonstration of overlap appears when we identify the little "Gripping Beast" of the Borre style in the Beast's mouth. Other examples of hip spirals appear on a 1972 Norway stamp and clearly on Irish stamps (Fig 10). Look for entangled ribbons and spirals and beasts often in Scandinavian stamp borders; witness Iceland's Parliament set of 1930.





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Fig 10

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