Mårten Eskil Winge was a Swedish artist specialized in history and Norse mythology paintings. Winge was strongly influenced by his compatriot the Romantic painter Nils Johan Olsson Blommér.
It’s evident how history and mythology are here blended to construct a new kind of a secular national religion. Even though Winge’s chainmail and clothing looked more realistic than on history paintings from the beginning of the century his work was never about realism.
Winge was taught at the Cathedral School in Uppsala, where the old temple to the Nordic gods had been located before it was destroyed by Christians. This likely had a strong influence on his work.
Insular measuring weight with celtic knot decoration, found this saturday at Missingen, in Råde, Østfold. The archaeologist dates it to the 700s AD. It is made of lead, with bronze plating, which has probably been gilded. At no more than 27 mm across, it is a beautiful example of the fine craftsmanship of the Isles. It was in all likelihood brought back to Norway by viking raiders as plunder. Similar measuring weights have been found in a high status viking burial mound in Ballyholme, Bangor, in Northern Ireland.
The weight weighs 22,09 grams, but have some damage to the back and is likely to have weighed roughly 24,5 grams, which corresponds to ½ Øre - Aureus (of gold). It is an ancient unit of weight that originates in the time of the Roman Empire. Most pieces of “payment gold” - rings and bracelets made of coiled gold used by Rome to pay nordic mercenaries - are usually found in whole units of 26,5 grams, corresponding to the roman Unica. However, in the viking age the weight of the Øre is seen to have lowered in weight to 24,5 grams, to correspond with the Ørtug/Ertog (8-9 grams).
The search was arranged by The Museum of Cultural History and the district archaeologist in Østfold, and is the second survey with metal detectorists to map out a settlement area containing among other things a 61 meter longhouse, which is the largest ever found in Scandinavia. The archaeologist leading the project has studied the area and believe it has been an aristocratic manor of its time, a hub of influence and power in the Iron Age and Medieval, with bustling activity of trade, and production of high quality craftsmanship items - such as jewellery.
The measuring weight we found this time serves well to support the former, that this has been a bustling trade hub, with an industry of manufacturing, and with a central location adjoining the overseas and the inland.