What just happened?

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.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by



  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Banner made of silk with gold dragon painted on each side.

  • Date

    • 1870-1875
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 89 centimetres
    • Width: 89.5 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Temporary Register (1861-1921), p.159. British and Medieval Extracts Register (1903-1921), p.189. Not included in main Ethnography Register,v.3.
    Banner presented to Colonel Charles Ellis by the Chinese Government in 1870. Colonel Ellis was the first British officer to enter the city of Tientsin, and was in command of the Marines during the attack on the Summer Palace, when that city was taken by the British in the above year. In recognition of his humanity and the action he took in saving the lives of the Chinese City Guard, he was presented by the Government with three banners. Of these Colonel Ellis gave one to Pembroke Stephens, K.C. whose widow presents it to the British Museum. [Museum archives: no further details available.]


  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department


  • Registration number


There is no image of this object, or there may be copyright restrictions

Image service:

Request new photography



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

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: EAS15173

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help