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Viking Key

Keys were culturally important in Viking life. As part of a wedding the groom would present his wife with his keys to show she was responsible for his estate, and she would wear them on her apron or belt to show she was a woman of substance. Since they were meant to be shown off, they were often decorated like jewelry. This one is 8 cm long, solid bronze, made to fit the lock of the Mastermyr Casket. It is decorated with the 10th Century motif called the "gripping beast," probably inspired by pet apes brought back by traders from Constantinople.
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