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Needlecases are very frequently found in female graves of the late Viking period (MacGregor 1997). Fine metal needles would have been fragile and expensive, making a needlecase to protect them an important item. Positioning in the graves demonstrates that they were an important accessory as well as a functional tool. Needlecases were often suspended from the girdle or from one of the brooches supporting the apron dress. A few needlecases have the remnants of chains attached, while others do not, suggesting that now-decayed textile cords might have been used to suspend them. The Viking custom seems to have been to carry frequently-needed and personal objects - shears, needlecases, knives, toiletry items, etc. - suspended about ones person. With that arrangement, they are always handy, and are unlikely to be mixed up with items belonging to others. Needlecases were worn this way through at least the medieval period (Egan and Pritchard 1991).

This one here is the reconstruction of a needle case found in Birka, Sweden. Made in cast bronze. It is filled with toison to put the needles in. It's 5cm (1,96 inch) long and the copper chain is around 8cm (3,14 inch) long. The original is dated 10th century AD.

Bronze Viking needle case

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  • Handmade item
  • Materials: bronze, copper
  • Ships worldwide from Poland
  • Feedback: 942 reviews
  • Favorited by: 613 people