Brooch in Form of a Bird of Prey

Date: late 500s

Culture: Vendel

Medium: Copper alloy with silver overlay

Dimensions: Overall: 2 1/8 x 1 1/4 x 3/8 in. (5.4 x 3.2 x 1 cm)

Classification: Metalwork-Brass

Credit Line: Purchase, Leon Levy and Shelby White Gift, Rogers Fund, and funds from various donors, 1991

Accession Number: 1991.308


This crouching bird of prey, usually identified as an eagle, is thought to represent Odin, the supreme god of war and battle in Nordic mythology. The design is an early example of the sort of animal motifs that become so important in Viking art.