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Claddagh (Pendant in Gold)

Claddagh (Pendant in Gold)
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39,99 EUR

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Product no.: AG-007
Claddagh (Pendant in Gold)

Celtic Symbol, 42 x 42 mm, 24 Carat Gold plated, two-sided design.

The Claddagh's distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart, and usually surmounted by a crown. The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown). The expression which was associated with these symbols in the giving of the ring was: "With my two hands I give you my heart, and crown it with my love." Yet, the expression, "Let love and friendship reign forever" can be found as another meaning for the symbols. The way that a Claddagh ring is worn on the hand is usually intended to convey the wearer's romantic availability, or lack thereof. The ring is worn on the right hand with the heart facing outward to show that the wearer is not romantically linked but is looking for love. When turned inwards, it is shown that the wearer is in a relationship, or their heart has been "captured". Noting that the heart is pointing down the hand and into the veins which lead to the wearer's heart. The ring worn on the left hand with the heart facing outward shows the wearer is engaged; turned inward indicates the wearer is married. The Claddagh belongs to a widespread group of finger rings called “Fede Rings”. The name "fede" comes from the Italian phrase mani in fede ("hands in trust" or "hands in faith"). These rings date from Roman times, when the gesture of clasped right hands (dextrarum iunctio) symbolized marriage. Fede rings are distinguished by having the bezel cut or cast in the form of two clasped hands, symbolizing faith, trust or “plighted troth.” They were popular in the Middle Ages throughout Europe, and there are examples from this time in the National Museum of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin. The Claddagh ring is a particularly distinctive type of Fede ring; two hands clasp a heart surmounted by a crown.[2] According to Jones, [3], the Claddugh (Jones' original spelling) was part of the fishing community's tradition; Jones says the natives of Claddugh are "particularly exclusive in their tastes and habits." Jones explains: The clasped hands [style ring]... are... in constant use in [the]... community [of] Claddugh [sic] at [County] Galway.... [They] rarely [intermarry] with others than their own people [sic]. The [Claddagh] wedding-ring [sic] is an heirloom in the family... transferred from the mother to the daughter who is first [to be] married, and so passes to her descendants. Many of these [rings]... are very old. Evidence aplenty shows the Claddagh to have been a marginal custom at best, until recently. Kunz [4], while showing a photo of a typical gold Claddagh ring which he also spells "Claddugh", merely references an old Irish tradition of the bridegroom renting a gold ring in the event he couldn't afford to buy one. Kunz makes no mention of the "Claddugh" ring in his text. While McCarthy [5] merely repeats Kuntz, making no reference at all to the Claddagh ring, or anything similar in the Irish tradition section of his "Betrothal Ring" chapter. The evidence proves that near the end of the 19th century, more was divulged about the Claddagh ring than was known just a few years later. McCarthy reminds us that men did not wear wedding rings commonly until World War II, though there was common tradition for men in Victorian times; this tradition for men vanished in Edwardian times, and the ring tradition of women was essentially ignored from Kunz well beyond McCarthy. So it is that, ancient as it may be, the Claddugh has always been a highly localized custom as a betrothal ring, and unique in that it was passed directly from mother to daughter, it is nonetheless a new fad among Americans. It is especially demonstrative of pride in Irish heritage, though none of the above ring experts makes any mention of Claddugh wearing-customs. However, there are many legends about the origins of the ring. One tale is about Margaret Joyce (Claddagh Ring), a woman of The Tribes of Galway. She married a Spanish merchant named Domingo de Rona. She went with him to Spain, but he died and left her a large sum of money. She returned to Ireland and, in 1596, married Oliver Óg French, the mayor of Galway. With the money she inherited from her first marriage, she funded the construction of bridges in Connacht. All this out of charity, so one day an eagle dropped the Claddagh ring into her lap, as a reward. Another story tells of a prince who fell in love with a common maid. To convince her father his feelings were genuine and he had no intentions of "using" the girl, he designed a ring with hands representing friendship, a crown representing loyalty, and a heart representing love. He proposed to the maid with this ring, and after the father heard the explanation of the symbolism of the ring, he gave his blessing. One legend that may be closer to historical truth is of a man named Richard Joyce (Goldsmith), another member of the Joyce clan and a native of Galway. He left his town to work in the West Indies, intending to marry his love when he returned. However, his ship was captured and he was sold as a slave to a Moorish goldsmith. In Algiers, with his new master, he was trained in his craft. When William III became king, he demanded the Moors release all British prisoners. As a result, Robert Joyce was set free. The goldsmith had such a great amount of respect for Robert Joyce that he offered Joyce his daughter and half his wealth if Joyce stayed, but he denied his offer and returned home to marry his love who awaited his return. During his time with the Moors, he forged a ring as a symbol of his love for her. Upon his return, he presented her with the ring and they were married.

This Product was added to our catalogue on Sunday 04 August, 2013.

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