This fabulous antique French Marriage Display Stand is a symbol of life long fidelity and undying love between a couple.
Its measurements are 19 inches high by 12 inches wide by 7 inches deep. The top mirror is 7 inches wide. The side mirrors are 8 inches in length. All three are 1 1/2 inches wide. The other three oval mirrors are 2 1/2 by 1 1/2 inches. The cushion is 8 inches square and 5 inches high. The cushion weighs 2 1/2 pounds,
Originally in 1860 this display stand had a globe which has long since departed. When I found it in France this summer it was in an old silk bag which had preserved it in this beautiful condition.
The Musée du Marriage at Château de Villesavin, Tour-en-Sologne, France has a magnificent display of 350 globe de mariee. I visited and found out all about this tradition which dates back to the crusaders in the thirteenth century. The mother of the bride was responsible for having it made by a jeweller.
It was significantly symbolic of the undying love between a couple. It was presented to the couple when they became betrothed. The symbols were many and varied and reflected the aspirations and things that were important to the couple.
The bird at the top is a dove which symbolised a home maker and peace in that home. In her beak she holds an oak leaf which symbolised love, health, strength and the sturdiness of the oak.
The mirrors were symbols of fidelity. The long side mirrors represented each person in the marriage and their individual fidelity. The top elongated scrolled mirror symbolised their coming together and the sincerity of their union. The mirror was true to life because it reflected only what it sees. The three oval mirrors represented their aspirations to have three children, it can also represent the number of years they courted. All the mirrors are bevelled and original to the piece.
Various leaves and fruits are represented. There are two collections of fruits which reminds each that they have to work to feed their family and make a success of their marriage.
Central to the display is the fabulous Calotte or cushion. Calotte actually means cap on which a crown is laid. On this braided cushion would sit the crown in the case of a titled lady or her marriage tiera. Interlaced with the crown would be silk flowers representing the flowers and blossoms of the orange tree. The orange tree in the days of the courtly knights represented purity. The bride was stating that she was pure when she came to her marriage. This was hugely significant because the lineage of these great families had to be beyond question. The cushion is solid and weighs over two pounds. The continuous braid creates four perfect Celtic knots which have a mystic symbolism signifying eternity with no beginning and no end. Truly a statement of undying love forever and ever by a couple.
Many brides today still respect the language of flowers in creating their bouquet.
A red rose for love. A white rose for pure love. A tulip for perfect love . A carnation for sincerity. Lys for purity and Azalea for the joy of loving .
This is a piece of ancient history now sadly no longer continued. It is nostalgic and worthy of inclusion in someones special day. You can add your own symbols and make it meaningful for you and your partner. Some traditions should not be let die. I have done my bit by bringing this beautiful piece to you and researching its history. I hope it brings you great joy and happiness.
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