The Celts, whose lands spread across Europe from Hungary to Ireland two thousand
years ago, left a rich legacy of art. They were skilled metal workers, with
a strong interest in gold, silver and bronze ornaments for themselves and for
their horse trappings. In Wales, where the language and culture survive with
unbroken continuity from those early times, the Celtic design tradition is still
part of the living heritage. We invite you to learn more about the background
to our Celtic Jewelry.
Celtic knotwork was highly developed as an art form, from intricate ornamentation
to dramatic symbolism. One of the more interesting designs is the endless ribbon
of eternity forming a woven knot, as on our Celtic Knot buckle and Trinity ring.
Examples of Celtic Knotwork
The triskele, a three-cornered knot, is common in Celtic knotwork. The Celts,
in keeping with general Indo-European belief, held that life was tripartite
in nature and continuous. The three corners of the triskele denoted the three
parts, and the knot itself was the endless ribbon of eternity. The tripartite
nature of life carried through to Christianity as the Trinity.
Examples of Triskeles
Everlasting Love -- Serch Bythol
This Celtic symbol of everlasting love is formed from two triskeles. The triskeles, three cornered knots, denote the three aspects of two people, body, mind and spirit. The two triskeles, joined together, show a circle, the everlasting circle of eternity. Thus the figure represents two people, joined in body, mind, and spirit in everlasting love.
examples of Everlasting Love Jewelry
Celtic Sailor's Knot -- Celtic Lovers' Knot
When Celtic sailors spent months at sea, they would often spend their free time weaving rope mementoes for their loved ones. The Celtic Sailor's Knot, is made of two intertwined ropes joined together as one. This knot, also known as the Celtic Lovers' Knot has come to symbolize the union of two into one.
examples of Celtic Lovers' Knot Jewelry
Birds were favorite figures in Celtic art, often elaborately developed with
intertwining. Birds often figured in the elaborately developed lettering of
the Book of Kells. An example of this type of representation is our Free Bird
pendant, depicting the letter "b".
Examples of Celtic Birds
Creyr - The Heron
Creyr, the Heron, was the creator of life among the Celts. Creyr brought the
babies, much as the stork among the Teutonic peoples. Renditions of the heron
are common in Celtic art, ranging from simple terminal figures to complex intertwined
examples of Creyr
Y Ddraig Goch - The Welsh Dragon
Y Ddraig Goch, The Red Dragon of Wales, is the symbol of resurgent Wales. The
Red Dragon was originally a griffin on the standard of a Roman legion headquartered
in North Wales, but early on came to be associated with the fighting dragons
imprisoned by Lludd and Llefelys. The significance of these dragons was pointed
out by Myrddin, the Merlin of Arthurian legend, in the time of Vortigern. The
two dragons, one white, one red, had fought for many years. The white dragon
at first prevailed but in the end the red dragon overcame the white. Myrddin
explained that the Welsh would ultimately, after a long period of adversity,
overcome the foreign invaders, and maintain their language, lands and freedom.
View examples of Y Ddraig Goch
The Rampant Lion of Scotland
The Rampant Lion of Scotland was originally the emblem of William the Lion in
the 12th century, during the years when Scotland was independent. His standard, showing a red rampant lion on a yellow background, became the Royal Standard of Scotland in 1222. Since that
time the Scots have used the lion to proclaim pride in their nation.
examples of the Rampant Lion
The Scottish Thistle
The thistle is the national flower of Scotland. At one time a band of English
soldiers were sneaking up on a group of Scots at night when one of them stepped
on a thistle and cried out, so alerting the Scots. Since then the thistle has
held a place of honor in Scotland.
examples of the Scottish Thistle
The Claddagh symbol of hands holding a heart, surmounted by a crown dates back
more than 400 years and is generally associated with the fishing village of
Claddagh in the west of Ireland, near Galway. There are many legends concerning
the origin of the Claddagh symbol, but most agree that the hands symbolize friendship,
the heart love and the crown loyalty. In the 17th century, rings with the Claddagh
symbol became the fashionable exchange of friends or lovers, often becoming
heirlooms passed down from mother to daughter.
examples of the Claddagh Symbol
The carving of lovespoons in wood as a token given by a suitor is not now carried
on as a widespread tradition in Wales. Today, lovespoons are more often carved
by amateur craftsmen for sale, or made in the form of silver or gold necklets
or other jewelry. The traditional design spirit of the lovespoon remains much
the same however, using symbols of affection, hope, promise or inspiration.
Never settling into a standard pattern, its form is restricted only by the imagination
of the carver or designer.
For more information ...
Please follow the links below to learn more about our Celtic jewelry and other
related items and information.
Wedding & Engagement Rings
and Diamond Information