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Handcrafted from an antique wax seal from early 1800 England, this wax seal charm features a rhinoceros at the top with the coat of arms which includes a cross center with four scallop shells.
The rhinoceros fights with great ferocity when aroused, but never seeks combat. Borne on a shield, the symbol indicated the same characteristics in its bearer. It is a very uncommon charge in heraldry, observed in only a few instances.
The scallop shell is the traditional emblem of Saint James the Greater - the apostle who carried a scallop shell with him and would present himself at churches, castles, abbeys or homes where he could expect to be given as much sustenance as he could pick up with one scoop of his scallop shell. Fertility is also associated with the scallop shell, as exemplified in ancient and renaissance paintings of Venus, the Roman goddess of fertility and love. She is often shown coming out of a scallop shell. Perhaps this is why some pilgrims, walking the way of St. James, used the scallop in a pagan ritual to encourage child-bearing.
This fine silver charm is around 5/8”x 3/4” oval and hangs on 18" stainless steel baby ball chain that closes with a ball chain connector clasp. Other types of chains are sold separately.
Handcrafted in my studio just outside of Houston, Texas, each symbolic wax seal item from The Silver Acorn is hand-stamped in reclaimed fine silver or bronze and will be slightly different and uniquely yours.
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