VINTAGE SILVER ART NOUVEAU STYLE CELTIC HERON BROOCH
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A lovely stylised double heron brooch design, with the triquetra held in each beak. I can just make out from the hallmark that it was made in London in 1991, so vintage rather than antique, but truly lovely. It is Sterling Silver, with a little wear to one heron and some tarnish on the rear commensurate with age.
The brooch is 30mm long, 33mm wide and has a sturdy pin on the back with a roll type safety catch, in fine working order.
So, the heron: corr, in the Irish language. And corr is also the word for crane – and if you understand the context in which the myths and stories of heron exist in this particular country, you understand that actually, most of the old myths are not about herons at all, but about cranes. Because as the Eurasian crane died out in Ireland, the grey heron arrived to take its place in the ecosystem, and to take its place in the myths and folklore of the people. The crane was thought to have associations with the moon and was sacred to the Triple Goddess. In later Christian times, it was believed that cranes were humans paying penance for wrong-doing during their lifetime. Due to the fact that it stood upright, it was associated with shape-shifting, usually in feminine form, and it was probably for this reason that the eating of its flesh was considered taboo in Ireland.
Quite the contrary; Roast heron was once a specially prized dish in Britain for special occasions such as state banquets. For the appointment of George Neville as Archbishop of York in 1465, 400 herons were served to the guests.
Some Irish folklore suggests that a heron flying over your house is unlucky. But in our older mythology, the heron is a liminal bird and a guardian of the way to the Otherworld. She’s a bird associated with fierce women, and with longevity.