Icelandic Artifacts...

The few worldly possessions Icelandic emigrants packed into their trunks for transport to North America tended to be utilitarian objects of home manufacture, but they also included many remarkable and beautiful objects.   Some of these have been lost or discarded over time, but others have been passed down to us as treasured heirlooms.  

A sampling of Icelandic artifacts is preserved in museums and collections in Canada and the United States - including the Eyrarbakki Icelandic Heritage Centre .   Among the more notable items in this collection are two 19 th Century boxes carved by folk artist Bólu-Hjálmar, a book trunk and ink well brought to Canada by Sigtryggur Jónasson (Father of New Iceland), a traditional Icelandic woman's outfit (peysuföt) with accessories, 19 th Century woolens, Icelandic spectacles, horn spoons and bone spindles, handmade needles, archaic playing cards, a finely crafted snuff horn and riding whip, brass signets, a chest of drawers made by Trausti Vigfússon, and a trunk with the inscription 'Jóh. Jóhs. Litluseilu', brought to Canada in 1876 - to name a few.   Possibly the most unique item is one from New Iceland - a soapstone pipe that belonged to legendary native figure John Ramsay.