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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Brown bear spotted with red dots right dancing, arms raised, with black figure l, abstract red and yellow ochre shapes in background. 1973 Gouache and charcoal

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1973
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 381 millimetres
    • Width: 559 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Signed with initials and dated "R.H. '73" in pencil.
  • Curator's comments

    David Brown saw the spotted bear-like creature to the right as a personification of Hilton in a drunken dance with the black figure of death.

  • Location

    British Imp PVIIIb

  • Exhibition history

    1980 Feb and tour, Sheffield, Graves Art Gallery, Roger Hilton, no. 7 1982, Canada, Sakastoon Gallery, 'Roger Hilton' 1993/4 Nov-Feb, London, Hayward Gall and tour, 'Roger Hilton', no. 61 2003/4 Dec-Apr, BM, 'Three Great Gifts: The David Brown Bequest'
    2004/5 Oct-Jan, Southampton City Art Gallery, Boom Boom Cluster
    2005 Mar-Jun, Compton Verney, 'Only Make-Believe'
    2006/7 Oct-Jan, St. Ives, Tate, 'Roger Hilton'

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


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Object reference number: PDB49129

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