Found in Vendel, Uppland, this stunning helmet once belonged to a man who presumably played an eminent role in Uppland’s political sphere during the 7th century. The bronze crest of this helmet is in the shape of a dragon or bird.
The owner of this helmet belonged to a long line of dynastic rulers, each of which were buried the same manner. This particular helmet was found within a boat burial, which also contained cooking utensils, tools, weapons, and three horses and dogs.
While his status is evident, we don’t know exactly who this man was. Some have suggested that this burial, and others like it, may relate to the kings of Icelandic sagas, such as Egil, Östen, Yngvar, Alrek and Erik. We will probably never know the exact identity of this man -but the pictured helmet stands as a testament to the power he once held, and the beautifully intricate craftsmanship of the era.
We’d never stopped to consider that ferns come in so many different colors until we looked at these exquisite illustrations by East Sussex-based artist and illustrator Helen Ahpornsiri. She uses tiny pieces of pressed fern fronds and stems to create intricate images of animals, insects, and skulls, some of which are barely larger than a penny. Some of the ferns used to create these images are grown by Helen herself. The rest are foraged from all over the UK.
Ahpornsiri maintains an Etsy shop where she sells limited edition giclée prints of her pressed fern pieces, ink illustrations and sometimes original pieces as well.