The death of distinguished Danish collector EA Christensen has prompted a collection of battle-scarred Viking swords to come up for auction.
The collection features seven swords that date to the 9th and 10th centuries and are expected to fetch between £2,000 and £8,000 at the arms and armour sale at Bonhams later this month.
David Williams, director of arms and armour at Bonhams, said: “Many of these rare and remarkable weapons would have been used in battle. The scarring and damage goes some way to confirm this, though the years have also taken their toll.”
The most highly valued piece was found in 1887 in the mouth of the River Thieles in Switzerland, another was found in the River Meuse in Belgium.
The Viking age, which spanned the late 8th to the 11th centuries, will be closely examined in a major exhibition at the British Museum next year.
The Vikings invaded the UK in 793 when they destroyed the Abbey at Lindisfarne in the north of England. One Northumbrian scholar wrote that “never before has such an atrocity been seen”.