Shields

Viking and Saxon age battle ready shields. Made to order in 2-3 months

Have a Viking shield made to your own specs handmade by Phil using traditional tools and materials, the wood is planked out traditionally by Phil or brought locally.

These are not plywood shields

The shield will come battle ready, made from a number of different woods that have been used thought-out history for shield making, lime (linden wood) willow, aspen and pine.

The shields are 1/2 inch thick as standard and not tapered. (If you want your shield tapered to save a minimal amount of weight please specify in your email.) Edged with thick raw hide for protection and laminated with a material of your choice. The handle is ash for strength and hand carved, with a hand forged, hammer raised shield boss, made from heavy 2mm steel. The shield comes with a thick leather strap to wear over the shoulder and back as standard with two hand carved reinforcement bars on the back of the shield.

These shields are made for combat, there backed on both sides with canvas on the handle side and your choice of either real leather or cotton canvas for maximum strength on the boss side. Viking era shields weighed around 7lbs to 15lbs, we work within these weights ensuring maximum strength whilst still enabling the combatant to wield the shield.

The history of Viking age shields

A few shields have survived from the Viking age, notably the shields from the Gokstad ship, which date from the 10th century. The ship was equipped with 32 shields, several of which survive intact. They were made from a single layer of planks butted together, with no iron bands, and the fronts were painted black and yellow. Typical Viking shields were 30-36 inches in diameter. Some were larger, such as the Gokstad shields, which were 37in across. Based on surviving remnants, some shields appear to have been as small as 28in in diameter. Presumably when a man made a shield for himself, he sized it to fit his body size and fighting style. A shield needs to be big enough to provide the desired protection but no bigger. A shield too small exposes additional lines of attack that an opponent might exploit, while a shield too large slows the defensive responses and exhausts the fighter unnecessarily. All the surviving examples are made from solid butted planks, although literary evidence, such as the 10th century Frankish poem Waltharius, and the Gulaþing laws, suggests that shields were made of laminated wood. No archaeological evidence supports this style of construction during the Viking era in Norse lands. Surviving shields are made from spruce, fir, or pine. Again, literary evidence contradicts and suggests that shields were made with linden wood (Tilia, commonly known as basswood in North America). The word lind (linden) is used to mean “shield”. Linden certainly has advantages over other species of wood for shield use. It is lightweight and does not split as readily under impact as do other types of wood. It is also similar to willow which the Saxons preferred as its a very fibrous wood, meaning the boards held together after impacts.

Planked Shield Black
Battle ready Viking Age shield made to order.
Planked Shield Quartered
Battle ready Viking Age shield made to order.
Planked Shield With Hand Painted Symbols
Battle ready Viking Age shield made to order.

Payment

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