Time period: 800 to 900
Product Dimensions: 3.5cm x 1.75cm
This toggle shaped thread winder is a faithful reproduction of Inventory #107575, located in the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. It is tentatively dated from the 800-900’s.
Amica SundstrÃ¶m, curator at the museum sent this information about the winder:
‘Both thread winders are made of horn. They were both found in Birka and are dated to the Viking Age. We, like most local museums in Sweden, have a collection rich with Viking and medieval materials and textile tools. Birka is a rich source of textile equipment, and this thread winder belongs to inventory SHM 5208, which came to the museum after excavations by Hjalmar Stolpe in the 1870s. Excavations were made in what we today call black soil, which means Birkas settlement / town layers. The project plan was to dig long narrow trenches which crisscrossed over the entire settlement surface. This approach yields objects which have no direct relation to each other and they may vary slightly over time but it is likely that they are from the 800-900’s.
Although Amica states the material is ‘horn’, I believe this is a translation mismatch. The winder in the museum exhibits a porous structure like antler, which of course could be called an animal horn. Antler is a difficult material to find consistently and in quantity, so we have reproduced the winder in cow bone.