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Jewelry Symbols



Morning Glory Antiques &
Jewelry

presents
~


JEWEL CHAT

Costume Jewelry Magazine



Jewelry
Symbols




Symbols, myths, tokens and mysteries… the things of which stories are
made. Personal adornment began when man first walked upright, and the
methods and meanings of that adornment has had a certain constancy through
the centuries. While shapes and patterns may call to mind different meanings
in various cultures, there is enough similarity to make interpreting them
add an interesting dimension to jewelry collecting.

The
ACORN
is a symbol of fertility and immortality, probably because they are the
seeds of the "mighty oak".


OAK

trees can live over 100
years, and are considered a symbol of strength and stability. The oak
tree was also the mythical home of the god of thunder, so the acorn was
thought to be a charm against lightening.





VICTORIAN
locket with acorn and leaf motif, circa 1890, 1-1/2" long. View
#V23363

BAKELITE
apple juice and root beer colored logs and leaves pin, circa
1940, 4-1/2".
View
#B11360

STERLING acorn
1″ screw back earrings.
View #N23945




VICTORIAN 14k yellow gold
earrings, each a foil-backed closed collet set dark citrines suspending an
acorn-shaped hair pendant, 1-1/2". #V32067

AQUA cabochons, clear rhinestones
and gold tone acorns pin,3". See "Adrian Classic" by Whalton, page 22-B.
View #Y23552

VICTORIAN earrings,
moonstone shaped as acorns, 7/8". #V32052

The
BUCKLE
is a symbol of self-defense, strength and protection. It is sometimes
associated with the

GARTER
, the symbol of
binding loyalty and brotherhood.




VICTORIAN 9ct buckle ring dated 1898.
View #G24203

VICTORIAN sterling hinged
bangle with floral engraving, hallmarks inside, circa 1885, 6-1/2" by 1".
(Similar piece seen in Christie Romero’s "Warman’s Jewelry, 2nd Ed, page
62.)
View
View
View #V24970

VICTORIAN gold garter
pin, 1-1/4".
View #V24442




VICTORIAN
Scottish silver with royal blue enameling buckle bangle, patterned
all round and hinged in four places, solid silver and very heavy with safety
chain, 7" by 3/4", buckle front 1". See a similar piece, a brooch, in Davidov &
Dawes "Victorian Jewelry" page 33.
View

View
View
View
View
#V31967

VICTORIAN silver buckle
bangle with etched design , 7" by 1".
View
View #V26083

VICTORIAN agate and sterling
silver buckle bracelet, total length 10-1/2" by 1" wide, wearable by a
7-1/2" to 9" wrist.
View

View
View
View
View
View
View
View
View #V31562

CORAL
jewelry was thought in Victorian times to
promote good health, and was often worn by young children. Coral is also
associated
with the boundless sea and longevity.





CORAL 10k
yellow gold ring with coral cameo, 1-1/8" by 1/2" front, circa
1900. A ring like this can be seen on page 65 of Romero’s Warman’s
Jewelry, Ed. 3
on page 65.
View #G50651
A young girl wearing a sentimental photo locket and her coral
bead bracelet, and two sisters wearing coral necklaces.
CORAL and
seed pearl 1-3/4" pin.
View #Q13052




VICTORIAN coral carved segments bracelet
with square rosette and carved bar stations, yellow gold fittings, 7-1/3" by 7/16". In
the Victorian era, wearing coral was thought to promote good health.
View #V32107

VICTORIAN stick coral
in eternity knot
brooch, extra large sized at 2-1/3" across. A similar but much
smaller brooch can be seen in this
carte de viste. In the
Victorian era, wearing coral was thought to promote good health.
View
#V32108

VICTORIAN parure of coral
beads set in yellow gold. The bracelet is four strands, 7" long with a safety
chain. The larger brooch has a watch hook on the back, 1-1/2"; the smaller
brooch, 3/4"; earrings are screw back, 7/8"; the ring is size 7, all circa
1890. In the Victorian era, coral was thought to promote good health. A
set almost identical to this can be seen in "Jewelry in America, 1600-1900" by
Martha Gandy Fales on page 245.
View

View
View
View
View
View
View
View
View
View #V3800

The
CROSS
comes in many shapes and has meanings, spanning both time and place.
Elegant and symmetrical, it is a perfect motif for jewelry.

For a history of the Maltese cross symbol, click here


For a history of the Celtic cross symbol, click here




MALTESE cross brooch in blue and
amber cabochons and blue and green rhinestones, 2-1/4".
View #Y23179

VICTORIAN
vulcanite Maltese shaped cross with flowers and design, 1-1/2".
View #V25885

LES BERNARD cross brooch with
tiger-eye glass and topaz-colored rhinestones. #X21880

CUPID, cherub,
cherubim, putto… all refer to a similar child with wings, a member of
the order of angels. Illustrated in art, impishly pagan, symbolic of
love, romance and the guardians of the sacred, they are also a common motif in
jewelry.




CUPIDS hand painted on ivory
in soft delicate colors set into a gold colored metal frame with hinged
stand.
View
View
View #a50473

LAVA
2-1/3" by 1-3/4" cameo brooch depicting cherubs using early
instruments of astronomy to view the stars.
View
View
View
View
View
View
View

CARNEGIE
enameled cast metal angel child brooch, 4". This is a large and heavy
piece with lustrous enameling, and unlike any Carnegie I have seen before.
View #C23043

A PUTTO (plural PUTTI) is
a charming chubby nude child often depicted in art from the 15th century
on, especially in Italy. Also called an amorino, a cherub
or Cupid. "Eros" to the Greeks, or "Cupid" to the Romans, was the
pagan god of love in all its many forms. Armed with his bows and arrows,
he is always depicted with wings.


Though we now associate Cupid as a
somewhat frivolous symbol of Valentine’s Day, in classical times he was
seen as one of the most powerful of the gods… irresistible,
mischievous, and often a trouble maker. Where Cupid is, love will
follow.

Edwardian 14k and enameled
pendant watch set with an old mine cut diamonds, a ruby, 5 pearls and one
central fresh water pearl. Cherubs decorate the watch, and fantasy
animals decorate the pin. Engraved on the inside from a father to his
daughter on Christmas 1904.
View
View
View
View #V24861

DRAGON MYTHS
are found in almost every country. While he is a fantasy creature, most
like a reptile or serpent, he has a real place in stories and ceremonies
round the world. Some of them are ever said to be fire breathers!





CHINESE
Blumenthal style dragon brooch with a cloisonne ball in
green, cinnabar red, navy blue and aqua, brooch 3" by 2", Chinese marks
on the back.

View
#X38620


BLUMENTHAL
chatelaine pins with dragons and cloisonne balls and gold tone
tassels, total length 9-1/3. each end 4" long, marked on the back "Blumenthal &
Co Inc.

View


View


View


View
#X38630

DRAGON brooch with
enameled egg, 2-1/3", illegible mark on the back.
View
View
View #Y22141




BUCKLE Asian three-toed dragon
two-piece buckle, hallmarked, total 3" by 1-7/8".
View
View #Q32637

JAY STRONGWATER winged
dragon brooch. His pieces always have a different look, and this is my all-time
favorite! Circa 1998.
View
View #K14568


BEN MELTZER Inc NY
pendant necklace with a dragon motif and aqua
glass cabochons set in antiqued gold tone on the pendant, and both
peacock colored and aqua glass beads and open filigree beads on the
chain. Spectacular! The pendant is 3" by 2-1/8" and the chain is 26"
long. On the back you can see silver tone solder points, but they do
seem to be original to the piece. And separating the pendant and the
chain is a faux Asian coin element.

View


View


View
#X39283

The
FLEUR-DE-LIS,
a stylized IRIS or LILY, is the symbol of light and hope and shares it’s
meanings with the flowers it represents. Associated with the
trinity, it has also been a sign of royalty.





ART NOUVEAU 14k Art
Nouveau enameled and pearl iris pin, 7/8".
View #Q25912


LORGNETTE
sterling Art Nouveau Iris motif, 5" by 1-1/4".
View
View #L20909

Brooches and chatelaine pins, among which are the popular
fleur-de-lis pins.

FLEUR de LIS gold
tone and artificial pearl brooch.
View #Y19803

FORGET-ME-NOT
flowers are used to symbolize constant attachment and affection and a
wish that love would not die.




VICTORIAN
chalcedony, enamel and turquoise brooch with forget-me-not motif, 2".
View
View
#V14952
MOSAIC Made in Italy mosaic
mini frame with flower motif including violets, forget-me-nots and tiny pink flowers, 2-7/8" by 2-1/2".
View #a32170
HAND PAINTED on porcelain
1-1/4″ round forget-me-not pin.
View #Y25828


The GRIFFIN

(or Gryphon)

is a mythological creature that combines the attributes
of both lion and eagle and symbolize wisdom and strength.



VICTORIAN brown velvet
purse with tiny cut steel beads in a regal griffon and snakes motif, faceted
steel brads on frame, 9-1/2" by 9" with a 32" chain handle. The griffon is a
mythological creature that combines the attributes of both
lion and eagle and symbolize wisdom and strength. See other cut steel purses in Haertig’s "More Beautiful Purses" on page
256-7. View
View
View
View #P32280
SWAROVSKI clear
rhinestone pave in gold tone griffin brooch
circa 1988, a huge 3-1/8" brooch. View #K17699


IVY

is the sign of immortality and
everlasting life. A plant affiliated with the gods Osiris and Dionysos,
it can also symbolize constant attachment and affection.




VICTORIAN silver locket with etched ivy design, fitting and cover on one
side inside, 1-7/8" by 1-1/3".
View #V32208

VICTORIAN silver etched ivy with beaded edge pierced earrings, total length
7/8" by 3/4" wide. View #V32206

VICTORIAN thin silver bangle with etched leaves design on front, slight
ding on back, 6-1/2" by 1/2".
View
View #V32214




VICTORIAN sterling 2" ornate bows and ivy leaves bar pin hallmarked
Chester, England, 1900-1. #V13432
View
View #V13432

VICTORIAN
vulcanite hand holding bird surrounded by a wreath of ivy pin, 2".
View #V26449

VICTORIAN ornate bows and ivy leaves
bar pin. View #V13421

The
MOON
is sometimes thought of as female, mate
to the male Sun. Keeper of the cycles and rhythms of time, nocturnal
animals are associated with it. The archangel Gabriel is said to have as
his abode the moon, and the crescent moon is one of the symbols of the
goddess Isis. The moon also symbolizes death and rebirth in it’s waxing
and waning.




10k SEED
PEARL
and ruby moon and star pin, 7/8".
View #Q22085
Seed
pearl
crescent moon jewelry
TRIFARI
‘Diane Love’ man in the moon brooch circa 1971, 2-1/2".
View #T26611

The word
PANSY
came from the French word for "think of
me", pense. A symbol of
remembrance, it is a lovely design for any piece of jewelry.





PANSY lady face silver tone metal buttons, set of
12, 1" each.
View
View
View #a50614

VICTORIAN vulcanite
2-5/8" pendant with pansies hand painted on porcelain, circa 1870.
View #V27373

ENAMELED pansies bracelet
with rose colored glass cabochons and purple, green and yellow enameling,
wonderful detail, 7" by 1".
View
View
#Y19269

The
PEACOCK
represents beauty, dignity and immortality as well
as pride
and vanity. It is
the symbol of Goddesses Juno and Hera and of St. Barbara, and can also
symbolize royalty. The peacock motif was often used in both Art Nouveau
and Arts & Crafts jewelry. In ancient times, the peacock was the
symbol of rebirth and eternal life.





SWAROVSKI
peacock brooch in clear rhinestone pave with blue and
green rhinestones and blue cabochon set in gold tone, 2-3/4".
View #K26723
STERLING vermeil
peacock brooch with cream, red and black enameling and clear rhinestone
accents, 2-5/8".
View
View
#Y26699
SWAROVSKI peacock pin,
3-7/8". View
View
View #K19220

The
POPPY
is sacred to deities of the moon and represents obliviousness and sleep.
A white poppy is the symbol of peace.





14k ENAMELED
7/8" poppy pin. View #Q12735

JUSTIN
Arts & Crafts leather purse with poppy motif, back strap, 7″ by 5-1/2″.
There is a top toggle and drop missing form the frame of this purse, but it
is still useable and operates perfectly.
View
View
View
View
View
View #P26689


TRIFARI
red poppy 3" fur clip circa 1941. #T12295

The
ROSE, in addition
to being a joy in the garden and a treasure in jewelry, is one of the
most complex symbols in history. Depending on the context, it can stand
for perfection, passion, secrecy, desire or virginity.
In the Victorian language of flowers, the wild rose symbolizes
simplicity, the white rose worthiness and innocence, the red rose
charity and love, the yellow rose friendship and the pink rose grace and
beauty.
In Egyptian times roses were scared to Isis, goddess of love and magic,
and in Greek times to Aurora, goddess of dawn. As a funeral flower, it
symbolizes eternal life.




ROSE bouquet. This enameled wonder needn’t be signed…
it’s a three-dimensional treasure with no known maker.
View
#Y19268

MAZER Bros
silver tone with clear and aqua rhinestones rose brooch, 3-1/4".
View #M25060

HAND
PAINTED
porcelain brooch of yellow roses, symbolic of friendship.

The SHAMROCK
is an emblem of both Ireland and St. Patrick, as well as of trinity.
Purported to bring good luck, it was given as best wishes to a friend or
loved one. The shamrock is also said to have magic powers.





Enameled
SHAMROCK
and seed pearls jewelry.
Enameled
SHAMROCK and seed
pearls pin. #Q12737

SHAMROCK enameled and seed pearls
brooch, crica 1900.
View
#Q24388

EDWARDIAN 14k and
seed pearl shamrock pin, 1".
View #Q17686

The
SNAKE
or serpent in Victorian jewelry was often
entwined to symbolize infinity and eternal love.




VICTORIAN
Whitby jet
snake bracelet with beautifully carved head, about 18" long and 1-3" to 1-8"
wide. See page 83 of Helen Muller’s book "Jet". Similar piece seen in
Helen Mueller’s "Jet" on page 83; in Christie Romero’s "Warman’s Jewelry, 2nd Ed" page 32
and 3rd edition page 51; and in Becker’s "Antique & Twentieth Century
Jewelry" on page 54. #V29886

VICTORIAN 14k yellow
gold snake bracelet with Persian turquoise head and garnet eyes, snake
1-1/2" by 3/4", total 7".
View
View
View #V32252

VICTORIAN gold filled snake brooch
with green and red rhinestones,
1-3/4". View
#V29250




SNAKE silver tone and clear
rhinestones snake wrap bracelet, marked "Patented" and approx 7-1/2" but
is adjustable. #Y24892

VICTORIAN hair
brooch, tiny two-sided glass covered compartments, snake frame, 1". In
Victorian times, the snake was the symbol of eternal love.
View #V27356

MAZER Joseph Mazer
textured gold tone hinged snake bracelet with rhinestone eyes and tail tip,
7" by 1".
View #M25950

STARS
are
symbols of light in the darkness, hope, the highest point man can reach.
Sparkling, brilliant and mysterious… a perfect shape for jewelry.




Seed
pearl
Edwardian starburst brooch, circa 1900. #Q22923

Trifari star series
as seen in the 1966 catalogue.

RHINESTONE 4-3/4" comet brooch,
circa 1945. View
#Y23038

The
SUN
is the giver of life, supreme power and light. Male symbol to the moon’s
female, it is the heart of the cosmos.




EISENBERG gold tone and red
enamel lady faces 1" earrings, marked on the back with the script "E".
View
View #E21863

SWAROVSKI
sunshine pin, 2-3/4" and matching earrings.
View View #K19295
FLORENZA unsigned but
with original tag 2-3/4″ brooch rich honey-colored cabochons, rhinestones
and aurora. All done in a pewter-colored setting with both pin back and a pendant hook,
this has an unusual smooth back finish. View
View
#L19312

BIRDS can symbolize
many things depending on the type of bird. A swallow or dove can mean
home, or the soul winging it’s way to heaven. It can also mean hope, as
in Noah’s dove with the leaf in it’s mouth.




VICTORIAN sterling
silver bird, heart, flowers and leaves pin, hallmarked circa 1890, 1-5/8".
View
View #V27908

VICTORIAN sterling silver hallmarked 1894 bird brooch with floral and leaf
design, 1-7/8". View
View #V29132

VICTORIAN sterling
bird bar brooch hallmarked Chester 1892, 1-7/8".
View
#V28800

The
SWAN
is symbolic of purity and grace, and is the familiar of the goddess
Leda.






WHITE and black enameled swan brooch with hinged
wing, 2-1/3".
View
View
#Y24340


DEUTZ
brown wool 7-1/2" by 8" purse with 2" wide gold tone frame, 2-3/4"
detachable swan brooch, double chain 10" handle.
View
View
View
View
View #P26705


STERLING
swans brooch, 1-7/8".
View #N24789

The
VIOLET
is the symbol of shy modesty and quiet virtue. It is the flower of the
Greek god Ares.




14k ENAMELED and pearl
1-1/8" violet pin, marked on the catch with an arrow through a heart mark,
circa 1910. This pin has very slight enamel loss.
View #Q11738

ENAMEL Horner sterling lavender
and white Guilloche enamel pin with violet, 2-1/8".
View #Y26243

Hand painted
porcelain brooch, 1-3/8". #Q23868

A
WREATH
is a symbol of victory, merit and of
anything venerated. Originally a wreath of olives leaves was presented
to the winners at the Olympics. The wreath is also a sign of holiday
festivities.




EDWARDIAN 14k wreath watch pin
with pearl, 3/4".
View
#Q23561
DeROSA
gold tone with red and clear rhinestone fur clip, 2-1/3".
View #d22677

TRIFARI wreath pin with clear
rhinestones set in silver and gold tone. View
#T19863