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Valhalla

The Valhalla Collection is the ninth in the David Oscarson™ series of Limited Edition writing instruments.  Produced in three color variations, each will be limited to production of 88 pieces (including fountain pens and roller balls).

From the Bronze Age to medieval times, Viking mythology was the religion of Scandinavia. Today, legends of the Vikings are present in all cultures as a result of their ability to travel and plunder, leaving their marks across the face of Europe and the known world. Known for their ‘longships’ and crude weaponry, the Vikings also developed a crude runic alphabet, seen chiseled into huge granite rocks, called rune stones; they can be seen across most of modern-day Europe.

Valhalla (Valhöll) literally translated means ‘Hall of the Slain” and is in essence a Viking heaven, or ‘Otherworld’ into which Viking warriors pass upon leaving this life. It is a great structure – much like a Roman Coliseum – with 640 doorways, through each of which 960 champions can march shoulder to shoulder. Its rafters are spear shafts and its tiles are shields of gold. Here, fallen champions spend all day gaming and fighting one another in battle. At the end of the day, the dead and wounded are all healed, so they can spend the night feasting on the flesh of a boar whose flesh never diminishes and drinking from the udders of a magic goat.

In Valhalla, three Viking gods prevail: the Nordic Trinity, Odin, Thor and Frey.

Odin, ‘God of the Slain’ and ‘All-Father’ lives throughout all ages ruling his kingdom absolutely, governing all things great and small. He fashioned Heaven and Earth and is also credited for creating Man and giving him an immortal spirit ‘which shall never perish though the body crumble to dust or burn to ashes’. Odin is also the patron god of poetry and one of his poems slithers in the form of a serpent in high relief on the cap of the Valhalla Collection. Literally translated from runic script, the poem reads ‘he who would read the sacred runes is wise to waste no words’. Odin’s name is the basis for our modern day Wednesday (Odinsdag). 

Thor is of course the God of Thunder. He is the guardian of the world – both of gods and men. His mighty hammer Mjöllnir is a short-handled weapon (the dwarf who forged it was interrupted in his work by a gnat stinging him on the eyelid). Named after lightning, or literally ‘ a thunderbolt’ it can be swung or thrown, and will always return to his hand like a boomerang. It is with this weapon that Thor maintains the stability of the world and keeps forces of chaos in check. Thor’s name is the basis for our modern day Thursday (Thorsdag).

  Frey is the god of fertility. He is the noblest of gods. He controls the rain and sunshine and therefore the natural increase of the earth and it is good to call upon him for fruitful seasons and for peace; he also controls the good fortunes of men. Frey was the paramount god of the Swedes and revered as the divine ancestor of their kings. Frey is said to have built the great temple at Uppsala (just north of Stockholm) when he made it his chief seat and the Swedes made sacrifices to him at weddings: ‘He bestows peace and pleasure on mortals’. In Norse mythology, Frey is remembered as a symbol of the divine marriage between the sky and the earth that produces Spring. (His twin sister, Freyja, is the most excellent of the goddesses and was the mistress of Odin for a time. Her name is the basis for our modern-day Friday.)

In contrast to the crude art of the Viking era, the Valhalla Collection is portrayed in the technical expertise of Guilloché engraving and the artistic mastery of Hard Enamel. The Collection incorporates three levels of Guilloché and three colors of translucent and opaque hard enamel on each Collection piece.

The Medieval design of this Limited Edition requires three separate stages of engraving. The entire body of the pen is first cut down to the level of the background, leaving the outlines of the rune stone and longship in high relief. The wave and granite patterns are then engraved onto the surface of the body of the pen. The third stage of engraving applies the smaller serpent motif to the surface of the granite; the larger serpent remaining raised in high relief.

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