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

    Chain formed of fifty-two hand-made gold filigree links with later snap clasp.The links made of flat ribbon wire and formed of four outward facing curls with flat discs at the joins and four small granules inside at each angle.

  • Date

    • 19thC
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 80 centimetres
    • Height: 0.8 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Text from catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift (Gere et al 1984) no 403:
    The links, which vary in size, resemble in design the links of the rosary, 435, which is perhaps Spanish in origin. The fact that there are fifty-two links may relate to the number of weeks in a year.

    Information supplementary to Hull Grundy catalogue:
    This chain is typical of those made in South east Asia. The most likely origin is Malaysia, but similar work occurs also in Sir Lanka (information kindly supplied by Jane Perry, 22.5.2013).


  • Bibliography

    • Gere et al 1984 403 bibliographic details
  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    19 April 1994

    Treatment proposal

    Remove tarnish


    1983 Greasy and dirty RAR 1991 Lightly tarnished CRE

    Treatment details

    1983 Cleaned with Detarol EDTA 10% in water. Washed with tap water. Dried with tissue. RAR 1991 Tarnish was removed using Goddards Hotel Silver Dip by immersion and brushing. Washed in running tap water. Dried with kleenex tissue and hot air from blower. CRE

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


Chain formed of fifty-two hand-made gold filigree links.

Chain formed of fifty-two hand-made gold filigree links.

Image description



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: MCT8580

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