A rare bronze alloy Viking thumb or archers ring which is decorated with the heads of ravens Huginn and Muninn (see the last picture where I have aligned one of the stylized heads) and an intricate interlace pattern. The inside of the ring with remains of the original tinned surface.
A thumb ring is a piece of equipment designed to protect the thumb during archery. When drawing a bow using a thumb draw, the thumb is hooked around the bowstring just beneath the arrow and its grip reinforced with the first (sometimes second) finger. The bowstring rests against the inner pad of the archer's thumb and the thumb ring protects the skin. The bowstring rests against the flat of the ring when the bow is drawn.
Viking. 9th century A.D.
Dimensions: inside diameter 24mm ; width (back of the shank) 5mm ; width (front) 20mm.
Provenance: art & antique trade (BE) ; previously in the private collection of Mr. D. (collected in the early 1960's).