In my SCA game I spend a lot of time and energy on the items that I eat and drink with. What we call feastgear is, for me, accessories the same way shoes, hats and bags are! My goal is to have a full set of feastgear with all my garb sets. For me a set includes a glass, a mug, a bowl, a plate, a spoon, a knife and a pitcher. With them I can have breakfast, a banquet and also just lie on a blanket drinking wine and eating s with my friends!
But building up multiple sets like these takes time and also some money, so sometimes we have to compromise and maybe use things from the “wrong” period or area. But don’t forget that a lot of period areas traded with each other.
I focus my Viking age/iron age kit towards the central area, mostly Birka and Hedeby/Habaithu. But luckily when it comes to pottery there’s a big mix of where the wares came from. The 3 big production areas in Europe from late 8th century to mid-11th is Western European, West Slavic and Finno-Ugric. The Western European ware came from the Rhineland; Frisia, Badorf, Pingsdorf, Walberberg and Mayen. The West Slavic included cities like Wolin and Oldenburg in today’s northern Germany and Poland. Finno-Ugric pottery came from an area that today is Finland, Russia, Estonia and Latvia.
About 25% of the pottery found in Birka is believed to have been imported and it was mostly Slavic, some Reinland and some Finno-Ugric. There was also a local production that resembled the Slavic pottery.
My Viking set is the most complete one. I have all the separate parts that I want to have and even a few extra pieces so that I can vary my setups or loan to friends. The easiest item to find when it comes to Viking feastgear is different kinds of cups, so I think I have 4 more that are not in the picture. The hardest piece to find was a good, useable knife in a decent Viking style that also was in budget for me. But after a lot of looking and some help I got the one in the picture which is very stylish but a bit big, so I also have a smaller one that’s very simple.
The pitcher in yellow-isch clay is a Badorfer style, dated around 500-900AD. Other pitchers in the same style have a more precise dating, 800-900AD. The dark bowl is a replica from a Birka grave and it’s in a Finno-Ugric style. The matching plate isn’t a replica, but is made in the same style as the bowl.
The glass is a replica bell beaker from grave 750 in Birka. It’s dated to the 9th century and it has a great feel to it. I’m not sure how common it was to have glass ware, what kind of people who could afford using them. So I’ll try using them only when I have my most fancy outfits on!
The red cup and the bowl with three handles are market finds that I don’t have any information about. But I like how the red adds a pop of culture to the kit. The spoon made out of horn is more of “in a Viking style” but has no provenance. There are Iron Age spoons made out of horn and bone, but they look very different and I haven’t seen anyone who makes replicas. But when I find some, I’m sure that’ll be my next step to make my kit better.
/Herrin Gele Pechplumin