Now that Christmas has come and gone, and the bite of winter’s chill grips the night. It’s time to start pondering February’s Valentines Gift Ideas for that special person who holds your heart. Which is only natural with the holiday being the second most celebrated day in the US.
Some say the celebration originated as the feast of “Lupercalia”, a pagan ritual of ancient Rome. Which the Christian Church abolished in the 5th-century AD. With some claiming the creation of St. Valentine’s Day to be the replacement for the Roman festival.
In reality, the Saint honored during the day of memorial is murky as there are legends of two martyrs named Valentine. The first Valentine of Rome lived during the 3rd-century. But was put to death by the Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus II for defying his law against marriage for young Romans. With the second Valentine of Terni who also lived during the 3rd-century and was put to death by Gothicus.
Yet the holiday would not gain its romantic fever until the Middle-Ages. With the oldest Valentine note credited to Charles, Duke of Orleans. A poem he wrote to his wife in 1415 while imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Such as the “Witches Heart” or the “Luckenbooth Heart” worn to protect against the evil eye. The bottom point of the heart turning to the side as to cast evil out of the heart. By the 18th-century these styles had become popular gifts for a bewitching love.
Another style to become prominent is double or intertwined hearts to proclaim eternal love. Occasionally set with jewels:
- Diamonds for endurance
- Ruby for passion or love
- Sapphire for fidelity
- And Emerald to symbolize hope and prosperity
While others may be tied together with a bow or knot to represent infinity or as love which can not be broken, Or the flaming heart to meaning a heart burning with passion.
Then there are the “Key and Heart” motifs, or “Padlock and Heart” motifs which are symbolic of a Lover who owns the keys to your heart.
As different postures of Cupid portrays various secret messages. One of the popular Cupid designs of the Victorian age portrays the young Cherub holding bouquets of Roses. The flower Roman cultures had held as the flower or secrecy. During this era images of Cupid carrying roses symbolize secret love or a warning of a love that should be kept secret.
While images of Cupid riding a lion conveys the idea that love conquers all, or the Cherub wearing a blindfold to say love is blind. Yet if the young Greek God is tied in chains it is said to mean love-bound. Finally, images of Cupid holding his bow means the small Cherub is ready to do battle in the war of love.
During the Victorian Age Swallows came to symbolize heart and home as they were associated with faithfulness. Often being the first to greet seafarers as they returned home. Also since the Swallow is known to mate for life the bird became a popular subject for sweetheart brooches of the era.
the love knot tells of lovers tieing small young tree branches into a knot, then leaving the branch alone for one year. If the knot grew into the branch with the knot intact it was seen as a sign that the love was strong and the relationship would endure.
As you ready for Valentine’s Day this year always remember it is the perfect occasion to wear or gift jewelry with the symbolic meaning of love. And what better way to celebrate this historic season than with the unique flair of antique and vintage jewelry.