Interested in Ships and Stamps? The Ship Stamp Society is an international society and publishes it’s journal, Log Book, six time a year.

The editor of Log book will retire this coming August and, unless a new one comes forward, the society will close.
With this in mind, we are not taking in any new members.
This is an unfortunate situation but seemingly unavoidable.


The full index of our ship stamp archive


Postby aukepalmhof » Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:33 am

1972 dragon head.jpg
Click image to view full size
Image (15).jpg
Click image to view full size
The dragonhead should scare away enemies. It also had magical functions: It would provide protection for ships and crew – and it should ward off evil spirits both on land and sea. The Icelandic law code Grágás says that the dragonhead should be taken off the ship when the Vikings returned to their homestead, not to intimidate the spirits of their native land. (Grágás was used from about 930 and written down about 1117)
The dragonhead made it easy to recognize a certain ship. It clearly shows who the leader is and where the leader is in battle. The symbolic function of the dragonhead is enhanced by the fact that ships often were named after the magical animal that graced it’s prow.
The dragon – also called serpent (ON ormr) – (perhaps modeled after the Midgard Serpent) was a primary motive for the royal longships, but also other magical beings could be used as dragonheads on some ships. When Christianity was introduced, Christian symbols and ship names eventually replaced the magical role former played by old Norse beings.
Sagas and skaldic poems tell many stories of dragonships with beautifully carved fabled animals in the stem and a tail at the stern. Some ships had dragonheads both on stem and stern. There are also old depictions of dragonheads. In the archaeological material however, there is not preserved any dragonheads that we know have adorned a ship.
A curly mane made of iron remains from the ship burial in Ladby, Denmark (10th century), can give some indications of how a ship’s dragonhead could look like. These iron curls probably decorated a wooden dragonhead mounted on the stem. The dragonhead is gone, but we can get an impression of how it might have been, by looking at a mold for metal jewelry from Birka, Sweden.

Downloaded from.
Norway 1972 80 ore sg 682, scott? (Dragonhead of Oseberg Viking ship)
Denmark 1993 3k.75 sg 1009, scott 990. (In the background a children drawing of a Viking ship.)
Posts: 5974
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:28 am

Return to Ship Stamps Collection

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Google [Bot] and 52 guests