A rare, early-18th century, silk damask, letter case with fine, gold thread, embroidery motifs symbolising love



The flap opening with a button and loop fastening, the loop replaced. The flap embroidered with a heart, within a small spray of bluebells surmounted with a 3 leafed clover/shamrock. A spray of tulips embroidered on the front below. A stag embroidered on the back. The edges faced with an embroidered shell border. The ivory, silk interior with a pocket and a simple metal lace trim. The outside crimson damask ground, worked in gold thread. Cleaned. Probably English, second quarter of the 18th century.

The 3 leaf clover's meaning is happiness. People spend all their time looking through fields of clover looking for that one little bit of 'luck' and sometimes never find it, but they look right past the obvious, that there is 'happiness' all around them, that they can find that happiness in anything and everything, their work, their family, their friends, their life. The shamrock is also a symbol of Ireland.

Bluebell are symbolic of constancy and everlasting love - believed to call the fairies when rung, and thought to be unlucky to walk through a mass of bluebells, because it was full of spells. It is also considered an unlucky flower to pick or bring into the house. The Latin name for this flower is Endymion who was the lover of the moon Goddess, Selene. The goddess put Endymion into an eternal sleep, so she alone could enjoy his beauty. Bluebells were said by herbalists to help prevent nightmares, and used as a remedy against leprosy, spider-bites and tuberculosis, but the bluebell is poisonous. 'light beating up from so many glassy heads'

Originally from Persia and Turkey, tulips were brought to Europe in the 16th century, where they got their common name from the Turkish word for gauze (with which turbans were wrapped) - reflecting the turban-like appearance of a tulip in full bloom. By the 17th century, the popularity of tulips, particularly in the Netherlands, became so great that the price of a single bulb soared to new heights, causing markets to crash and putting into motion "tulip mania."

Although different tulip colors carry distinct meanings - yellow tulips symbolizing cheerful thoughts, white conveying forgiveness and purple representing royalty - a Turkish legend may be responsible for the red tulip's symbolism. The story goes that a prince named Farhad was love struck by a maiden named Shirin. When Farhad learned that Shirin had been killed, he was so overcome with grief that he killed himself - riding his horse over the edge of a cliff. It's said that a scarlet tulip sprang up from each droplet of his blood, giving the red tulip the meaning "perfect love."

The 11th wedding anniversary flower, it's said that the tulip's velvety black center represents a lover's heart, darkened by the heat of passion. With the power to rival roses in their red variety and the sweet charm to express simple joy when yellow, it's no wonder that in addition to all its other symbolism, in the language of flowers, a tulip bouquet represents elegance and grace.
n the language of flowers, tulips have their own meaning and symbolism. In general the tulip flowers mean perfect love and a true, passionate lover. They mean fame, passion and romance. And of course, tulip flowers are always associated with spring. Blooming in a multitude of colors, they are a vibrant, timeless symbol of spring.

Based on colors tulip flowers have different meanings too. Red tulip flowers are generally interpreted to mean true love. Yellow tulips, which earlier suggested hopeless love, has gone through a change of meaning. Today they represent cheerful thoughts and sunshine. Orange tulip flowers symbolize warmth, happiness and fascination. White tulip flowers ask for forgiveness. Pink tulip flowers symbolize happiness and confidence. Purple tulip flowers are associated with royalty. Tulip flowers have a center that is velvet in texture and almost black in color, and this is said to represent the heart of a lover that is fired with passion. Blotched and striped flowers represent beautiful eyes.

The tulip flower is the 11th wedding anniversary flower. The tulip flower is also unofficially the emblem of Holland and the national flower of Iran and Turkey.

The stag has a variety of symbolic meanings. It can indicate someone skillful in music and a lover of harmony. It may also indicate a person who foresees opportunities well. In the latter case it is a symbol used for one who is unwilling to assail enemies rashly, who would rather stand his own ground than harm another wrongfully, and one who will not fight unless provoked. Harmony, polity and peace are particularly associated with the female deer, called a hind or a doe. Antlers represent strength and fortitude. The stag or hart is also an emblem of purity and fleetness. The stag was associated with healing, for he knew which medicinal plants to take in order to shake off the hunter's arrow. The person bearing this symbol was considered impervious to weapons.

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Diameter 9 cm / 3 "

18th Century