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Project by stefang posted 05-23-2013 02:25 PM 3463 views 6 times favorited 41 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The ‘Budstikka’ was an early ’Short Messaging System’ which was used in Norway and perhaps throughout Scandinavia from the time of the Vikings and up to the latter half of the 1800’s. It was a relatively effective and rapid way to spread important information.

The name ’Budstikke’ is composed of two words. First ’bud’, which in this particular context means ’bid’, as in the ’doing the kings bidding’. In other words, not just a message, but also a command from the King or other national or local authorities. The rest of the word ’stikke’ just means that it has a sharp point to allow it’s being anchored in wood somewhere. The budstikke in Photo 4 dates from the middle 1800’s, and an older one from 1610 in photo 6.

The message could be anything from the King calling up men to arms in time of war, to the local authorities commanding attendance at an important official gathering. The recipients were most often farmers. When the farmers were not at home the budstikke could be anchored in a door frame of their house or any other obvious place where it was sure to be seen on their return. The farmers were then responsible for forwarding the message to predetermined neighbors, and they could be punished for failing to do so. Punishment could be a fine, confiscation of property, imprisonment or even death depending on the importance of the message.

This budstikke was made for a good friend. Turned and handcarved from Linde wood. The design is my own, but true to principal. I doubt that none were alike, but they were all turned and hollowed out to contain a brief message which would stay dry, and some, although not all were topped off with the official looking crown design as on this one. Perhaps the crown was to signify it as a message from the King.

My carving was not very good as I have never been much of a woodcarver and even the turning is a little crude. This all works well as far as I’m concerned because these were never meant to be woodworking masterpieces, but rather an effective way to deliver important information. There would have been many dispensed at the same time, so pretty much mass produced items. I tried to make this one look rustic by first applying brown shoe polish, then some sanding and a final coat of beeswax/carnuba combo. My friend likes to make leather knife sheafs, so I thought he might like to keep his leather sewing needles in it.

I hope you found this little bit of Norwegian history and culture interesting. Thank you for having a look.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

41 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3816 days

#1 posted 05-23-2013 02:44 PM

excellent mike, the piece itself and the history lesson were very much enjoyed, it must have been fun to make this for your friend, as i think the giving from the heart is what is the most important thing here, but i still like the carving very much….i send my best wishes and hope you and yours are doing ok…things have warmed up here quickly…having to run the ac every so often to fight the humidity….but the dust is flying….

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View patron's profile


13654 posts in 3854 days

#2 posted 05-23-2013 02:56 PM

i like yours the best mike
not just a message toter

but a great gift
to a good friend

doesn’t get any better than that

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View stefang's profile


16752 posts in 3847 days

#3 posted 05-23-2013 03:03 PM

Yes Grizz, it was fun to make. Our weather has been mostly wet, but we have had a few good days. They were used to clean out all the rain gutters, to wash the house, garage and garden shed and to do a bit of gardening. We had to power rake the lawn to get rid of all the moss, then we had to remove most of our ground cover evergreens, as the cold winter and a following freezing dry spell followed and killed most of them. We had to take 3 trailer loads to the recycling center. Pretty discouraging, especially for my wife who is the garden CEO. I’m not doing much now, as I woke up 3 days ago with vertigo and it hasn’t gone away yet. I can drive, and read, but I am walking like a drunken sailor on shore leave with the world spinning around me. I will be painting the house as soon as I get better. No fun in sight, sigh. Have fun in your shop!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4090 days

#4 posted 05-23-2013 03:05 PM

Wonderful work Mike a real work of art that has extra fine details ,a cool story of a traditional item and a great gift.

View stefang's profile


16752 posts in 3847 days

#5 posted 05-23-2013 03:08 PM

Thanks David. It’s been awhile since I have done much turning and while my cutting technique is good, I somehow got the work sequence backwards. It was pretty hilarious, but I managed to save it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View patron's profile


13654 posts in 3854 days

#6 posted 05-23-2013 03:11 PM

here is a way to ‘rake’ the lawn mike

even the CEO might enjoy
especially in cold weather

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View stefang's profile


16752 posts in 3847 days

#7 posted 05-23-2013 03:16 PM

Just what I need David, a leaf SUCKER! I should probably move to Arizona where lawns are forbidden.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3426 days

#8 posted 05-23-2013 03:21 PM

Very nice Work!! I like it a lot and thanks for the information on it.

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View stefang's profile


16752 posts in 3847 days

#9 posted 05-23-2013 03:32 PM

Thanks Jim and Robert.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View shipwright's profile


8381 posts in 3311 days

#10 posted 05-23-2013 03:38 PM

What a fine piece Mike.
History and craftsmanship all rolled into a fine gift for a good friend.

(am I right that the friend’s identity may be hinted?)

Edit: OK, I was right. I just saw Mads’ blog entry.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View stefang's profile


16752 posts in 3847 days

#11 posted 05-23-2013 03:47 PM

Thanks Paul. A fun little project, although the craftsmanship was pretty limited in this case, but not for want of trying!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1263 posts in 3679 days

#12 posted 05-23-2013 03:53 PM

Excellent bit of history.
Thanks for the education.

Thanks for posting.

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18673 posts in 4189 days

#13 posted 05-23-2013 04:12 PM

Very interesting bit of history. Nice job to boot!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View doubleDD's profile


8661 posts in 2556 days

#14 posted 05-23-2013 04:15 PM

Excellent work and some fine detail on this. I’m intrigued by the story behind it. There is a lot of history out there that seems to be forgotten. Thanks for reminding us.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1907 posts in 2482 days

#15 posted 05-23-2013 04:47 PM

Just think the early lumberjocks had to “post” their projects this way. We’ve really come along in history. Bra jobb Mike. Jag gillar verkligen det!

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

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