Jonas Lau Markussen

Gold Foil Figure with Seer’s Thumb

The illustration displays some of the common characteristics among the figures depicted on the Gold Foil Figures.


The thumb of the figure’s hand is placed close to or in the mouth. This ‘Seer’s Thumb’ gesture appears already on in Style I ornament and survived into the Viking Age as well as in Christian iconography as an expression of foresight or prophesy combined with an element of magic.


One of the figure’s legs is bent and crossed over the other straight leg. This cross-legged posture is possibly apotropaic (averting evil) in origin.


The Gold Foil Figures are contemporary with Style II B (c. 550–650) and display many of the same style characteristics.



Learn more about the Gold Foil Figures



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