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Harald Bluetooth´s token wedding gift/Memorial plate or fake?

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A unique gold object found in Wolin 1841 has appeared in Sweden. Researchers have read the following text on the front side:




One interpretation of the texts is:



Swedish archeologist Sven Rosborn has a theory that it could be Harald Bluetooth´s memorial plate (see https://www.academia.edu/9647410/A_unique_object_from_Harald_Bluetooth_s_time)


Numismatic Peter Kraneveld has a theory that it could be a golden token gift (see http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?topic=29205.0)


Ethnologist Karen Schousboe has a theory about a talisman (see http://www.medievalhistories.com/harold-bluetooths-talisman-sensational-find-fake/)


Other thinks of it as a 18th century product but no theories are outlined.

A philologist perspective could perhaps explain why it would be almost impossible for a forger to invent the text on the object.


The text is Latin and the first two words are: +ARALD CVRMSVN+

ARALD is a spelling that Frankish monks used during the Viking era. According to a Swedish linguist it is not a widely spread knowledge that the H is left out.


CVRMSVN would most likely be translated to KURMSUN in Old Norse. The Hällestad runestone (DR 295) says among other things: “tuka kurms sun” and refers to Toke Gormsen who probably was Harald Gormsen´s brother. In the literature from medieval up and until today you cannot find the spelling Kurmsun. Instead you find: Gormsson, Gormson and Gormsen.


REX AD TAN ER would most likely refer to REX AD DANER. The spelling TANER could be the correct spelling at the time of Harald Bluetooth as the transliteration of Denmark on Harald´s runestone is: tanmaurk (Jacobsen & Moltke, 1941-42, DR 42)


Furthermore, the transliteration of Denmark on the runestone of Gorm is: tanmarkaR (Jacobsen & Moltke, 1941-42, DR 41)


The runestone of Gorm was raised around 955 and the runestone of Harald Bluetooth was raised between 960-985.


In year 995, Haralds´s son Sweyn Forkbeard had his own coin with an image in his likeness. The Latin inscription reads:
SVEN REX AD DENER (to be compared with:
HARALD GORMSEN REX AD TAN ER) which is translated to Sweyn king of Danes.

Sweyn´s son Cnut the Great (1014-1035) also had his own coin. The Latin inscription reads:
CNVT REX IN DENORVM which is translated to Cnut king of Denmark. Now there is change from king of the people to king of the nation.


The spelling Taner, tanmaurk, tanmarkaR is never used again. Perhaps there was a change in the spelling from the time of Gorm and Harald to Sweyn and Cnut?

CIV ALDIN probably refters to Civitas Aldingburg and is an old spelling of Oldenburg in Holstein.


Out of the four old spellings: 1) ARALD; 2) CVRMSVN; 3) REX AD TANER; and 4) CIV ALDIN, the only plausible knowledge for a forger in the 18th century should be CIV ALDIN instead of Oldenburg. Or does anybody know a spelling in the literature of 1) 2) and 3)?

Five new metal tests have been made on the object with the following result:

Test No.* Appendix AU AG CU FE Zn Pb
Test No. 1 I 91,84 3,60 4,37 0,135
Test No. 2 Ii 91,55 3,64 4,65 0,153
Test No. 3 Iii 91,75 3,65 4,51 -
Test No. 4 Iv 91,09 3,67 4,55 0,146 0,440 0,113
Test No. 5 V 91,83 3,68 4,33 0,114


It seems that the “pollution” is bigger on the legends than on the object itself. See third test where you only find AU, AG and CU. Could metal tests tell us something about the aging or the manufacturing process?


There are many factors that point towards the time Harald Bluetooth but the object itself seems to be made in a rush. Does anybody have example of goldsmiths´ work around the 10th century that also seems to be made in a rush?



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Unfortunately any knowledge regarding spelling etc, however scarce & restricted to academics, to try and prove how old the object is could still be known to a faker.


One glaring fact is the use of 'J' which, according to everything I know, was not even in use till the 16th century. Mind, perhaps the people who believe this dates so far back have an explanation for that in regard to Scandinavian Latin script from that era.


A belated welcome to CoinPeople :art: and thanks for the interesting post.

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Having been continuing the discussion on the other website http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?topic=29205.0 and I discovered that the lettering is consistent with early Carolingian text from circa 800 AD, what looks like our modern J was how their Long(uppercase) I was written.


Early Carolingian script sometimes still used the long & short i(longa & brevis) used in earlier scripts, this was soon abandoned and only i brevis used but i longa was indicated by using a descender, making it resemble our modern J, though it is a capital I.



Ninth century Carolingian manuscript of a text by Sulpicius Severus. http://employees.oneonta.edu/farberas/arth/arth212/Carolingian_Culture/carolingian_scripts.html



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