Do you believe in "luck" or lucky numbers? Metis' first sales day is this Sunday, which is the tenth day of the tenth month of 2010. 10-10-10. Interesting?
In the middle ages, the number 13 was considered a lucky number. Until someone decided that if they used that number too often, all the luck would run out. So they stopped using it, to save the luck; this is how 13 has become "unlucky" in our day.
The French love all sorts of charms, talismans and meaningful keepsakes; this was found on a chain with various religious medals; at the top, above the 13 is a small heart~
Sometimes the charms (breloques in French) are for certain trades or professions; here a mariner's charm from Brittany, in silver; a crucifix, a sacred heart marked Jesus on one side and Marie on the other; a copper heart enameled in blue, and a silver hammered heart; the name of the fleur-de-lys type charm escapes at the moment. There is also an anchor that was separated from the piece. Think of someone gifting this to their loved one, out on the seas; beautiful~
Special gifts were often given to loved ones leaving for war or travels; an extra protection and symbol of devotion. Here a small treen-type capsule just over an inch high, marked "souvenir of Lourdes"....
which opens to show a miniature Virgin Mary. These are called Vierge de Voyage or Travel Virgin. We have a small collection in various types of capsules (wood, metal, bakelite) that we will find and show you later~
Some of the Travel Virgins we have are from WWI; they are well-traveled. Loved ones at home made their own keepsakes, usually with photos; these always touch my heart; here an 18carat gold frame backed in mother of pearl, he wears his WWI uniform; the frame is edged in the finest and smallest ruban croise (reed & ribbon) style we've ever seen~
the French people's love of such items in part explains the heavy consumption of all kinds of religious medals and objects of devotion; here Sacred heart of Jesus; the other side is for Mary~
it is interesting to see how "lucky" symbols get incorporated; here a beautiful brooch with mother of pearl-type leaves; note there are four lucky clover leaves and in the center, the facade of Notre Dame de Paris~
and if nothing else, the French hang on to their rosaries; here are just a few from the 30's, which we will have this weekend. There are some lovely mother of pearl rosaries on the way too.
Good luck to everyone this weekend!