From the Land of the Midnight Sun

Norwegian Arts & Crafts Hand-Hammered Copper Tray with Gothic Celtic Knot (LEO Design)

I only knew one thing about this little copper plate when I discovered it:  I loved it!  A little sleuthing uncovered that it’s Arts & Crafts from Scandinavia—Norway to be precise.   Designers and craftsmen throughout the world-wide Art Nouveau Movement often revived (and adapted) ancient historical and cultural references from their specific cultures.  The English revived their Medieval & Renaissance heraldry, the Americans used Native American symbols, and the Catalan retrieved elements of Spanish Gothic.  In the case above, the Norwegians utilized motifs from their ancient Norse past.

We often associate this type of interwoven “knot work” with being typically Celtic—which, today, refers to the cultures of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany (France), and the Isle of Man.  But, before this design style came to the Celts, it was the aesthetic creation of the Norse.  As the Vikings explored (and conquered) new lands, they brought with them the culture, craft and artwork of their homeland.  These designs were reproduced (often adapted) in the new lands where, in time, they evolved into a distinct artistic “dialect”—related to the original but different in specific ways.

When I found this plate, I thought I might buy it for myself.  As a matter of fact, I do have just the right spot for it…