We have some objects in our collections which we cannot identify. This little animal figure is carved in antler, probably from a reindeer, standing on a rectangular base with a hole through its length. On one end is a ferrule of metal, probably brass. It is 6 cm long, 3 cm high and 1 cm thick at the base.

The object, find number 05120, was found on the upper gundeck. This deck is littered with a number of finds which landed on the ship in the years after it sank, objects which fell off passing boats or were washed out into the harbour from the land. We thus cannot be sure that this artefact sank with Vasa in 1628 or if it came to rest on the ship sometime in the following 333 years.

We also do not know what it is or how it was used. Was it part of the stem of a pipe? The handle to a small box? Part of a clock case?

What sort of animal is it? Some people see a running hare, some a deer, and others a dog.

  • What do you see?
  • How do you think the object has been used?

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