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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

    A long textile length, most likely made for use as curtain fabric or similar interior furnishing. Chain stitch embroidery (machine?) on a brown twill woven wool ground. [Ground in two sections: 69 cms, full weaving width, plus 22.5 cms.] A meandering tree motif with numerous different flowers: multicoloured wools. Some of the grey outline markings visible where embroidery incomplete. One warp end turned and slip stitched; the other is raw. The patterning continues to each warp end, indicating a commercial length. The patterning has five repeats.


  • Date

    • 1900-1930 (source: Eth Doc 1789)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 338.5 centimetres
    • Width: 89.5 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    For donor's note on his father's collection, see Eu1983,01.1.

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    These 24 pieces (Eu1983,01.1-24) form part of a collection of some 106 items (textiles and painted wood boxes) obtained by the donor's father, the artist Ervin Bossanyi, in the villages of southern Hungary between about 1900 and 1930, although some of the items may be earlier in date. Some 60 pieces were given to the Türr Istvan Museum in Baja, south Hungary, at the donor's request; the remainder was divided between the British Museum and the donor's family. See Eth Doc 1789 for full details of acquisition.

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • Eth Doc 1789, no. 96


If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

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Object reference number: EEU84534

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