Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Object of the Day: An Antique Fleur-de-lis Sitckpin

For centuries, the fleur-de-lis has been a prominent artistic and symbolic theme. Literally translating from French to “flower of the lily,” the fleur-de-lis is a stylized lily or iris which has long been associated with France and the French Monarchy. Often used in religious art, the fleur-de-lis has historically been known to represent Mary. While it’s most commonly associated with France, the English have also adopted the fleur-de-lis as a heraldic symbol and, in North American, the fleur-de-lis is a popular symbol for sites which were originally settled by the French—Louisiana, for example.

I’ve always had a fondness for the fleur-de-lis as both a graceful image and for its historical significance. I was thrilled to receive this antique stickpin as a gift from my parents. Dating to mid Nineteenth Century, this gold fleur-de-lis is delicately modeled and shows crisp, exquisite detail. I’m not entirely sure of its origins, but I’m guessing, by looking at the workmanship, that it is English in origin since it stylistically shows the trademarks of British jewelry-making with its sharp detail and fine casting.

No comments: