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2016 marked the 950th anniversary of what many consider to be the end of the Viking Age. In September 1066 at the battle of Stamford Bridge, an English army under King Harold Godwinson defeated the invading Norwegian force led by King Harald Hardrada and the English king's brother Tostig Godwinson. After a bloody battle, both Hardrada and Tostig along with most of the Norwegians lay dead on the field.


Although Harold Godwinson repelled the Norwegian invaders, his army was defeated in turn by the Normans at the Battle of Hastings less than three weeks later (October 14). Ironically, the Normans (or "North Men") who emerged victorious at Hastings were themselves the descendants of Vikings, so it can fairly be argued that, while Hardrada lost at Stamford Bridge, the Norse ultimately did succeed in conquering all of England.


"The Viking Prow: Coiled Serpent" is the first in a series of free-standing sculptures that seek to capture the majesty and mystery of the Viking Longships.

The original sculpture is the result of over 150 hours of research, planning, building (the wood base was constructed using the same technique as the actual ships - the lapstrake or "clinker built" method) and sculpting. Each finished piece is then crafted from four separate castings of the original using art grade resin that I detail, paint and weather by hand to give it an aged wood appearance. Then the whole thing is covered with a clear coat satin finish to ensure a long life. As you turn the piece, you will see the intricate Norse designs on every surface - a web of hopelessly tangled "gripping beasts" from top to bottom and from sides to rear.

The solid weight (about 3 pounds), lavish cinnamon finish and impressive height (over 16 inches tall) combine to give it a commanding presence on shelf, pedestal or desk. Once so perched, it evokes thoughts of the bold vikings who risked all to explore, expand and conquer any land within reach of their mighty longships. 

Strictly limited to 95 signed and numbered pieces along with ten artist proofs, each piece is accompanied by a signed story card that tells the story behind this prow. 




Digging a little deeper into the viking prow...

Like everyone living in the dark ages, Vikings were a superstitious lot. They feared monsters and angry spirits in the seas they roamed and thought to ward them off by carving equally terrifying creatures onto the prows of their ships. In addition to scaring away any malicious spirits, they struck fear into the hearts of anyone unfortunate enough to be living in a town targeted by the raiders.

It is interesting to note that the carved prows were removable - so they would not send the wrong message to a town they were looking to trade with. Presumably, this also avoided upsetting any friendly land spirits as they pulled into port.

This sculpture was inspired by the famous Oseberg ship on permanent display at the UiO Museum of Cultural History in Oslo, Norway. Although I wanted to stay true to the look and feel of the Oseberg prow, I took some artistic license where I felt it made for a better sculpture. For instance, although the Oseberg prow needed supporting sprues to support the coil of the serpent, I did not, so I eliminated this detail since I liked the flow of the serpent better without it - and I suspect the original builders would have eliminated it as well if they could have done so.

All rights reserved by the artist (Aric Jorn), his studio (Aric Jorn: Sculpting Myth) and his corporation (Jivotica LLC). My work may not be reproduced, modified, commercially exploited or re-used, copied, edited, published, transmitted or uploaded in any way without prior written consent by the artist.

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©2014-2020 Aric Jorn & Aric Jorn Studios LLC. All Rights Reserved. This is an original design by Aric Jorn and as its creator, I retain all rights. I am always open to working with other makers and artists and my designs have been licensed for that purpose. So. if you are interested in incorporating (whole or in part) this or any of my designs into a product, art work or for any other purpose, please contact me first to make arrangements and come to an agreement. Failure to take this step will result in immediate legal action.

Viking Prow: Coiled Serpent

  • NOTE: There is a 2-3 week processing time on all orders prior to shipping time. All orders ship U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail. If you need to receive your order by a certain date or need it to ship differently, please contact me prior to ordering.


    INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS: We ship all over the world. If the site says you cannot order this piece because of where you are located, please contact me and I will be happy to put together a shipping quote for you. Please be advised that shipping costs do not include any import fees/taxes/VAT that your country may impose upon you, so additional charges may be placed on your shipment over which I have no control.

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