elves are being involved ;)
Then again, how could we be for sure 100%, as we have no connection with the Vikings afterlife ?
Back to the magnifier.. I noticed that one eye (left eye - that is the one on the right for you, watching the chape on the image ;) is clearly to be seen as an eye on the metal .. the other eye .. just isn't visible, not because it had abraised on the metal in some kind of way, no, because it seems to deliberately had been omitted.
On the place where you would suspect the other eye, a slightly hollow eye is visible as a well casted dent ...
So... Odin after all ?
As said before: we cannot 'prove' images too quickly, it is very well possible that Ru Smith's thoughts on the self sacrifice of Odin could make sence.
Then, let us just move ourselves in the heads and belief of our pagan ancestors.
Why nót depict Odin on a sword chape, to protect the carrier of the sword by giving him the wisdom of Odin in battle and remembering the sacrifice one needs in life to achieve its goals ?
My example was found about two years ago near the little town of Kreutburg, twenty miles south of Kaliningrad in that funny Russian-owned Kaliningrad Oblast area east of Poland.
The images of the chape above shows the chape in 'just cleaned' situation.
The images of the chape beneath shows the chape, then coated with Paraloid B-72. The seller had used it with the purpose to conservate the piece. I will check on the Archaeological Services in Holland, if this was a good thing to do..
For further references to this stunning piece of Viking Art I point out to the ones given in Ru Smit's blog above..
The map shows the area the sword chape was found (south of Kaliningrad).
I have shared our thoughts with Charlotte Hedenstierna-Johnson who responded: Odin is Always a bit elusive, even as archaeological finds go...'.
And that, my Viking Age interestees and students and researchers, is the attractiviness of our part of field of research..
We do not, and cannot know everything for sure. That is the mystery, the everduring desire to investigate and deliberate ..
Thomas Kamphuis, May 22th 2015.
See for the general - very interesting - website of Ru Smith : http://www.pbase.com/hajar/viking_art
and the specific page on his sword chape : http://www.pbase.com/hajar/image/158520131
With thanks to Ru Smith