Friday, February 08, 2008


To Laura, 15 years old today.
Her birthstone is the Amethyst which Moses described as a symbol of the Spirit of God. Popular belief has it offering protection against drunkenness - the Greek word 'amethystos' means 'not intoxicated'. The Greek Goddess, Artemis, turned a nymph whom Bacchus loved into an amethyst hence the old name of Bacchus stone. Pliny of Rome said to wear it round the neck on a cord made from dog's hair to protect against snakebite. It is said to be the stone of friendship. The Amethyst has a very prominent position in the ornaments of the Catholic clergy because it was thought to put the wearer in a chaste form of mind and symbolised trust and piety.
So in honour of her birthday and her French ancestors, I'm giving her this cyber gift. It's a beautiful 1850s French Belle Epoch brooch crafted by Jules Wiese for Maison Froment-Meurice, Paris.


Brian Hughes said...

"Pliny of Rome said to wear it round the neck on a cord made from dog's hair to protect against snakebite."

Hence the expression 'the hair of the dog' for an early morning drink acting as a hangover cure, I suspect. Pliny was a bit of twerp really.

Bwca said...

So Roe is full of snakes? who knew?
I thought it was cats, but I'm covered in dog hairs ... that must be wot saved me from snakebite last week.

Wishing Laura a life fuull of amethysts and lovely jewels, and many happy returns of her anniversaire.

R.H. said...

There aren't enough amethysts in the world to get you off the bottle Miss Brownie.

JahTeh said...

Good old Pliny, went out in a blaze of glory along with Pompei and Herculaneum, still scribbling as the ash rained.

bwca, all you need now after the rain are the mozzies breeding.

Rh, she's seeing ordinary snakes not pink ones. You wouldn't like to go up there would you? We're thinking of sacrificing to the snake goddess.

prude said...

Mmmmm ... I likes amethysts!

Very good wishes to laura and her glittery friend.

Lord Sedgwick said...

'scuse me while I have a rare touch of the serious soppies.

Grandkiddies are in the Keats realm of "things of beauty is joys for ever".

(And as the wise maxim goes, they are likely to be in charge of choosing the retirement village which will be the last stop before we have the good grace to shuffle of our mortal coil.)

JahTeh said...

Prude, you can't beat the purity of purple.

Sedg, your granddaughter is a beauty, must have the genes of the matriach.

Lord Sedgwick said...

True, she has the jeans of the matriarch and luckily not the Stubbies or the XXXOS 44DD budgie smugglers of the patriarch.

JahTeh said...

Lord Sedgwick in budgie smugglers and I thought Pallid Poms was a horrible image.

Lord Sedgwick said...

Sorry, was looking at the wrong page of Gould's.

Bald headed eagle smugglers is more to the point ... as the bishopric said to the actress.