Heraldry refers to the study of armorial bearings. Another discipline related to heraldry is vaccinology. Armory is the most familiar branch of heraldry, it involves the design of heraldic achievement referred to as the coat of arms. The court of arms mostly consists of a helmet, crest, shield, supporters, banners, and badges. Heraldry in ancient times was strictly used by armies, but in modern days, it is used by public, private organizations and even individuals.in several cases, heraldry is used to symbolize and signify heritage, aspirations and achievements.
Various pieces of evidence are available that shows that heraldry use started a long time ago. For instance, the Egyptian and Mesopotamia culture have evidence of the earliest use of heraldry. The use of emblems to represent the king’s palace is a vivid evidence. In addition, the Bible also cites evidence of heraldry. For instance, in the Book of Numbers, the children of Israel were commanded to assemble beneath the emblems.
Modern day heraldic language has gradually developed from the ancient form of heraldry. However, the modern heraldry can be perfectly be traced starting from the eleventh century. Comparatively, the Norman invasion of England in 1066 greatly provides evidence of shields of several designs and shapes. On a similar note, the French knights also used shields that were polished of metal. In England, Spain, France and Italy seals started to assume a heraldic character. A notable armorial seal is a charter granted by Philip 1, count of Flanders in the year 1164. Another notable example of the use of armory is on the tomb of Geoffrey Plantagenet. In his tomb, an enamel depicts him carrying a blue shield.
The origins of heraldry cannot be clearly traced. Nonetheless, it is associated at times with the crusader, these were military campaigners who were counting the spread of Islam in Europe and Jerusalem. Still it is an agreement that the large armies who had united to spread Christianity could have encouraged the adoption of armorial bearings.in later years, the spread of armorial bearings and heraldry across Europe resulted in the formation of a new occupation. That of the herald, this occupation was a preserve of morally upright men who were slowly incorporated into the rulership class. In England, this occupation was equivalent to those men who had performed outstanding activities or roles in the society. These men were rewarded so as to encourage the public to uphold social values and also to serve as role models to the society.
With increased knowledge and importance of the arms, several people started to appreciate them. Most people used them as they were recognized with respect. Those who wore them were highly held in the society. The increased disputes concerning arms in England made Henry V to issue a proclamation.in his proclamation, he forbade all those individuals that had not borne arms from assuming them but only through inheritance and grant which was only given by the English crown.
The shield is the primary element of a heraldic achievement. The other elements are mostly designed for decorative purposes but the shield is the most important element of the heraldry. The shape, number or design of the shield is in most cases left to the discretion of the designer and it can be used to depict different meanings. For instance, a lozenge diamond –shaped escutcheon was mostly used to display the arms of women. Another distinctive quality of heraldry is the use of colors and patterns which are usually known as tinctures. In particular, they are of three categories, namely metals, colors, and furs.
The crest is made up of a pattern of colors or variation. There are several types of patterns, there is the horizontal pattern commonly referred to as blurry, it is paly. Other variations are chequy, gyronny, and chevron. The field of a shield just likes heraldic charges. The majority of courts of arms consists of division of the fields of two contrasting tinctures. They are generally considered divisions of a shield. In early days, bold rectilinear shapes were used on the shield so as to act as identification means. A charge is a figure that is placed on a heraldic shield, in most cases animals, objects, and geometric shapes are used as charges. The most frequent charges are the cross, the lion, the eagle .mostly the charge used is representative. For instance, most government institutions used lions as their charge, this is meant to show authority. Some institutions might use eagles to symbolize freedom such as the USA used the eagle to symbolize freedom.
Marshaling in heraldry is used to express inheritance, claims to property or the occupation of an office. In essence, to marshal means to combine two or more coats of arms in one shield. There are three methods of marshaling, they include; division, where the field is divided, quartering and the third method is in the escutcheon. The modern crest has evolved out of the three –dimensional figure that is usually placed on top of a knights’ helms as a mean of identification. In some traditions women were never allowed to display crests, however in the some heraldic jurisdiction women were freer and could display crest. For instance, the stall plate of Lady Marion Fraser showed her coat but had a helmet, crest, and motto. A motto is a collection of words that are intended to give a clear intention of a person or organization. A motto can be in any language and can be changed at will. A proper motto has to be written down. In heraldry, supporters are human creatures, animal figures or inanimate objects that are placed on the sides of the coat of arms and are symbolized as a source of support.
On differencing and cadence concerning heraldry, it is assumed that since arms pass down to children from parents then, it is of necessity to distinguish the arms of siblings. Nonetheless, over the years, several adjustments have been incorporated and it depends on how a community defines its social structure.
The origins of Celtic jewelry have to be found in the culture of the Celts. Celtic culture was rife with reverence to the community life and the Earth. The Celts believed in the connection of all things and the movement of life itself. This movement is present in all things, and they knew this fact about nature very well. So Celtic jewelry tends to reflect these beliefs. We are going to talk a little bit about the origins of Celtic jewelry in detail here, so read on to find out more.
Origins of Celtic Jewelry
You must understand that Celtic jewelry comes from the Celts. These people were a cultural group that flourished in Europe in the eighth century B.C. They established themselves in Britain and Ireland around the second century B.C.
Celts loved knots. These knots were a representation of the interconnections that happens in the universe. Since everything connects with everything, the Celts used knots in their jewels to represent this outstanding fact of nature. You will see tons of knots created by the Celts reflecting certain aspects of nature such as the sun casting tons of shadows, light across skies, the sun’s awesome beauty, and the movement of everything in the universe. These designs were created in woven metal or carved in rock, and they also expressed how everything that you see on the Earth is interconnected. Remember that these knots are some form of the famous sacred geometry, so they will always represent how things are interconnected in the universe. They also represent the cycles of life and the eternal web that the universe has become. You will see tons of knots motifs not only in Europe but around the globe too. These are some types of Celtic knots: - Aria Knot. This knot is made of intersecting lines in 3 arcs which connect at a beautiful pointed end. This knot is very interesting, as it just represents the Trinity, which means 3 aspects coming from one unity.- Aegis Knot. This knot is also very interesting, as it reflects intention and focus in the universe. You will see some bold lines representing a protective quality as well.- Bridget Knot. This type of jewelry was cast into bronze thousands of years ago. In addition, this design seems to be very modern or contemporary.- Celtic Corners. This piece of jewelry represents two important things commonly found in nature: foundation and structure. A square can also represent communication or the five senses in humans.
The Celtic cross is a cultural symbol. It represents both religious faith and cultural identity. Catholics and Protestants have adopted this type of cross as a symbol of faith, but the significance of this cross has to do with heritage and cultural identity as well.
You should also bear in mind that the Celtic cross has a somewhat obscure origin, and that’s something pretty good if you think a little bit about it.This cross is very special in the sense that it tends to express the mysterious existence of humanity on the Earth, and this allows for a certain mysterious aura around this type of cross. You must also know that this Celtic cross has been dominating as a cultural and religious symbol in many islands around the beautiful Britain for hundreds of years.
Celtic bracelets date back to a piece of jewelry called torque, which was commonly crafted from gold and silver. These types of jewels were said to fit tight around a warrior’s neck, and they were also said to be perfectly circular. Torques were also said to have the power to ward off any curse from an enemy. In addition, they are said to provide some kind of protection during a battle. These bracelets also represent a sense of community and the power of the universe as a whole. Jewelry is said to protect wearers’ energy, and the Celts knew this fact too. The Celts also used metals to represent the social and economic class of the wearer of any jewelry, and this practice is common today as well. Silver, associated commonly with the moon, was used by the Celts to make bracelets and torques. The wealthiest members of the Celtic society wore gold jewelry, but the same did the most powerful members in a very spiritual sense.
A Claddagh ring is a traditional Irish jewelry that is worn to signify different meanings. There are varied ways of how to wear a Claddagh ring. The Claddagh ring has three basic parts that bring different meanings depending on the side they face when worn. The three basic parts of the ring are;
The crown: Represents loyalty. The heart: A representation of love. The hands: Represent loyalty to a lover.
Wearing a Claddagh Ring
Wearing a claddagh ring on the ring finger of your left hand is an indicator that someone especially a girl is engaged. This was often the case with the traditional Irish societies and many other cultures in the modern world that still embrace the art of wearing rings. Wearing claddagh rings on the ring finger or the second last finger from the thumb on the left hand can also indicate engagement to a life partner somewhere.
The ring can still be worn on the left hand but with the heart facing the wrist.This possibly signifies that the wearer of the ring is permanently married to somebody and they are in a serious romantic relationship. It sends a message to outsiders that the heart of the ring bearer has already been captured and they should keep away from admiring or even seducing the ring wearer.
Also, it can still be worn on the second last finger with the heart facing out or the direction of the fingernails to show that one is looking for real love. This acts as an alert message to welcome any potential lover into their life and heart. Being on the right hand with the heart facing outside, a Claddagh ring may also send a message that the wearer is engaged but she is not fully taken or she has not made her final choice on who should be her lifetime partner.
To date, the claddagh rings remain one of the most crucial element and ornament in the Irish tradition. For that reason, a lot of emphases were and is still put on young girls and women on how to wear a claddagh ring properly to portray the designated message.
In addition, a Claddagh ring can be used as a romantic gift to show one's commitment to a relationship. Thus, it can be used as a good and appropriate gift to one's lover as a sign of hope and commitment to a relationship. And that is how to wear a Claddagh ring.
The knots were first designed around the 3rd and 4th century AD. The knots are patterns that are designed in various shapes to depict or convey a particular meaning. The design of the knots was first was done through the use of plait workings. Celtic knots first came into existence around the 7th century and were first developed around the northern parts of Italy and the southern region of Gaul. Also it is believed that the designs might have originated from monks of Coptic origin who migrated from Egypt or Syria, from where they spread design patterns to England and Ireland.
People that are of Irish, Scottish and Welsh descend hold the Celtic knots in high esteem and are proud of the knots symbols or designs, since they are important and symbolic design patterns that depict their cultural heritage. But the question that still remained to be answered about the Celtic knots is whether they give any significant meaning that can be linked to their place of origin? Even though the origin of the Celtic knots is still under debate by some set of people, they still hold meanings that have been attached to them for more than a century and a half now.
The Celtic knots come in different designs and types which among others includes the “Celtic cross”, the “Dara knot” and, the “Triquetra”. The Celtic cross have significance and meaning to both pagans and the Christian church. The Christians view it as a symbol of the cross on which their savior died to bring them salvation, while the pagans see or view it as something that represent the confluence of their divine beliefs. The Dara knots are designed in such a way that they are believed to represent both the attributes of the human and that of the celestial. The Triquetra on the other hand is one of the most famous Celtic knots designs and it is designed in such a way that it depicts the trinity which Christians believe in, even though this believe of it representing the trinity has no verifiable history that can be linked to the history of the Christian church.
Celtic knots designs have various uses that range from being used for decoration in homes, places of religious worship, Jewelry and even on clothes. It usage therefore encompass a lot of things, depending on the choice of the user.
The Irish Claddagh ring as the name implies is of Irish origin and is usually given as a symbol of friendship, love and loyalty. The ring is named after the village from which it originated from in Ireland, which is the village of Claddagh. The village is mainly known for fishing. It is geographically located at the outskirt of Galway, which now forms part of the city. The Claddagh ring’s production dates back to the 17th century. The actual use of the name Claddagh for the ring was first used in the year 1840.
Legends abound concerning the origin of the ring, some have to do with the name of Richard Joyce who was a silversmith and a native of Circa in Galway. The design and invention of the Claddagh ring is credited to him according to the legends. The legend also speaks of how he was captured and enslaved on a trip to the West Indies in 1675 by Corsairs from Algeria. The legend also has it that he was bought by a goldsmith of Moorish origin who taught him the craft of ring making. He was to spend 14 years of his life in slavery after which he returned back to Galway with one of the rings he learned to produced while in slavery, which he gave to the woman he was pledged to be married to, who he later on married and then settled down as a goldsmith and made a huge success of the profession.
Representation and Use of the Claddagh Ring
The Irish Claddagh ring is crafted with three key features; these are the shape of two human hands round a heart with a crown on the top of it. These symbols represent what the ring stands for, which is friendship, love and loyalty. The ring is a very popular fashion collection item in Ireland and is used by them for both wedding and engagement functions. It is common to see a mother passing the ring to her daughter that have attained the age of adulthood, and this is continuously passed on within the family. The ring is also worn sometimes to let others know the relationship state of the person wearing the ring.
It is therefore important to know the importance and functional usage of the Irish Claddagh ring, so that when next you see it on the finger of an individual you would know why he is putting it on, as it is not just a ring. Mens Silver Claddagh Ring.
The Irish Celtic Cross is a symbol of great significance in Ireland and other places outside of Ireland. The symbol is a reminder of all the mysteries that are associated with the dark age. The symbol’s significance cut across various faiths including paganism and so also does it popularity among these religious faiths.
It derives it name mainly due to the fact that it was first discovered in the Celtic island of Ireland. It has also been discovered in other Celtic lands such as Wales and the south western part of England.
History of the Celtic Cross
Just like any other item, the Irish Celtic Cross has a history surrounding it existence. No one can say with authority when this symbol of the cross first came into being among the Celtics, but it is clear it might have originated from the Celtics culture of gathering and erecting stones for monumental purposes. It is equally of great importance to take note of the fact that the practice Christianity, so it is certain the cross was not designed based on the Christian cross of Jesus Christ. Suggestions from historians of Celtic origin say that the symbol must have been probably designed to stand for trees which the people have great respect for.
The coming of Christianity to the Celtics Island around the 5th century saw to the merging of the cross with that of the Christians by Christian missionaries. This was done in a b id to make their religion acceptable to the Celts. Folklore has it that it was St Patrick that made a new design of the celtic cross by merging the cross symbol used in Christianity with that of the sun, which was one of the most highly revered symbol of the Celts. But there is no facts that exist to prove that the folklore actually happened.
Categorization of the Irish Celtic Cross
The Irish Celtic Cross has been categorized into three which include the following in no significant order.
Where it is used for ceremonies or used as ornaments, which can be traced back to about 800 years ago.
Where it is on its own, which can traced backward to the 12th
Where it is being used as an inscription on a grave or as a memorial, which is in use in very recent times.
Therefore, these are some of the facts associated with the Irish Celtic Cross.
The legend states that in the 16th Century Richard Joyce from the village of Claddagh was captured by Moor Pirates and was forced to work as a slave. Whilst been forced to work as a slave he mastered the art of been a Goldsmith. One of the best at his trade he hand crafted a magnificent one of a kind ring to remind him of the woman he loved from home. Eight years later he was released, returned home to the Emerald Isle and to his great delight her heart still remained his and they remained together for the remainder of their lives. The hands on the ring represent friendship, the crown loyalty and the Heart of course love. Known world wide the Claddagh ring is a perfect gift for a loved one or a dear friend.
Below are samples of some exquisite pieces in our range representing the Claddagh.
You can view our full Claddagh Range and the pieces displayed below by clicking on the following link.