Inspiration #13, A Norwegian Nobleman

In the thirteenth part, we will introduce a man of many qualities, a friendly and skilled craftsman, the leader of Marobud group and my good friend, who is well known in Czech “Viking” scene. This is none other than Jan Zbránek, aka “Jón”.

Jan and his twin Jakub (Valgarð) have been active in the Czech reenactment scene since 2007 or rather 2010, when they started going to historical festivals. Since then, they have built a solid name thanks to their fighting and craftsmanship skills, which include metal, wood and leather processing. Currently, they run the Skallagrim – Viking Jewelry project and you can see Jan’s goods in the gallery below. At the present time, Jan is making cast replicas and mints of replicas of period coins.

Jan tries to reconstruct Norwegian hersir (hereditary title of lower nobleman), set in the 10th century. He is aware that his costume is based on some findings from other parts of Scandinavia, and says that the costume is an unfinished project that is constantly being modified, complemented and will never be completed. In retrospect, he admits that making this inspiration helped him realize a lot of costume shortcomings. Since I know Jan for a long time, I know that his costume will look completely different in two years, because he is a person who is constantly re-evaluating his opinions and changing his gear according to them.

His costume consists of a woolen cap lined with fur (in the photos you can also see a woolen cap with a textile hem), linen shirt and woolen tunic lined with red silk (in the photos we can also notice white red woolen tunic), close-fitting pants tied up with blue leg wraps made from hand-woven and naturally dyed wool. They are fixed with laces, or replicas of a hooks from the Norwegian Hjerkinn. On his feet he wears ankle-high leather turn-shoes. The tunic is belted with a belt with brass/bronze decor in the Borre style, on which hangs a knife with a wide back in a scabbard with bronze fittings and a leather bag based on a Russian finding (the original is in Morshansk). The “civilian” version of Jan’s costume is decorated with a silver wire necklace (“knit”) with a replica of a hammer pendant from Tågesmosen in Denmark (this type was used in 10th and 11th century) and a hammer from Hus, Norway. Hand-woven blue cloak is fastened with replica of a brooch from the Norwegian locality of Averøen.

Combat costume consists of woolen under-tunic, riveted mail reaching to his thighs with short sleeves, Petersen type O sword based on a find from Dukstad, a scabbard with a wooden core hanging over his shoulder, Y type axe, type G spear, plank shield with boss decorated with a bronze plate according to the find from Birka, a replica of a one-piece helmet from Olomouc with a riveted hinge sewn to the liner, which is fastened to the helmet with a leather strap, and a simple leather armband hidden under the tunic.

The gallery is below, Jan warns that some photos are outdated and do not reflect the current state of his costume.


I would like to thank Jan for granting me permission to use his photographs and for detailed description of his costume. Here we will finish this article. Thank you for your time and we look forward to any feedback. If you want to learn more and support my work, please, fund my project on Patreon or Paypal.

18. listopadu 2020

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