St. George’s Day! Will you be celebrating Britain’s patron Saint on the 23rd April; we can’t help rooting for the dragon in jewellery form!
His emblem is a red cross on a white background; the flag of England which forms part of the British Flag ie. the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Wales. Yet this Turkish born English Saint never actually set foot in England.
Not an important point according to historian Ian Mortimer! A patron saints place of birth was apparently irrelevant....they just needed to embody the characteristics that the kingdom wanted to project to the outside world.
Until the end of the 18th century St Georges Day was celebrated as widely as Christmas with the popularity of St George stemming from the time of the early Crusades. It is said that the Normans saw him in a vision and were consequently victorious. Considered a symbol of Christianity, as a result of his protesting against Rome’s persecution of Christians, he was imprisoned and tortured, yet stayed true to his faith.
The most widely known legend of St George is of his slaying a dragon.
The most widely known legend of St George is of his slaying a dragon (symbolic of pagan belief or the Devil), but do your sympathies, like mine, lie with the dragon?
The popularity of films such as Game of Thrones and How to Train your Dragon reveal a fascination and positive obsession for such creatures; just look at how many people are convinced of the existence of the Loch Ness Monster, with more sightings in 2017 than any other year this century.
Partly a reflection of my Scandinavian heritage, my own love of dragons comes from a deep-rooted interest in Norse mythology. The Eddas and Sagas, tales from Norse oral literature, have inspired myself and countless others, including artists such as Johan Egerkrans, see amazing images below, and authors such as Tolkien.
In Norse mythology there are several references to dragons (Old Norse:dreki).
- Niohöggr (Nidhogg), a dragon serpeant that gnaws at a root of the world tree Yggdrasil, identified as a dragon in the Völuspa.
- Jörmungandr (meaning huge monster) also known as the Midgard Serpent, is described as a giant, venomous mythical sea creature who grew so large that it surrounds the earth, grasping it's own tail.
- Fafnir, originally a dwarf that was turned into a dragon as part of the Völsung Cycle
- The Gesta Danorum, medieval danish litterature, contains a description of a dragon killed by Frotho I
For centuries Viking longships, with their huge dragon figureheads, struck terror in the hearts of northwestern Europeans. These longships were called drakkar; or dragon ships and the dragon served as a powerful symbol of strength and war.
My childhood was also filled with fascination for the old Norwegian wooden stave churches with their dragon heads adorning the peaks of the church roof.
Placed on the highest peaks these served the same function as the gargoyles on medieval Cathedrals, warding off evil spirits.
Dragons are also found as carved decoration on these wooden churches, my absolute fav being the interwoven dragons on the church at Urnes which we would implore our dad to drive past every summer.
The Wild World Collection, by Annika Rutlin, features some stunning dragon designs, including a bangle with a removable head thereby allowing the customer to thread their own beads along the body of the beast. (Compatible with both Pandora and Lovelinks charms), chain or leather bracelets and pearl necklace designs.
And there have also been a variety of commissions for dragon pieces over the years, some examples of which can be seen below;
Tors hammer necklace and leather dragon cuff commissions, both inspired by the intricate Urnes style of interwoven dragons.
A set of matching solid silver dragon design bracelets (hers and his) for a creative Norse inspired wedding at the Ice Hotel at Jukkasjärvi in Northern Sweden.
Other commissions have included a delicate double dragon headed torc necklace in solid silver and an 18 carat yellow gold claw ring grasping a rough diamond and surrounded by scattered champagne coloured diamonds.
If you are looking for a truely unique and exciting piece, then why not commission Annika to bring your creative desires to life in any precious metal of your dreams.
We can even recycle and upcycle your old jewellery, reusing the metal and incorporating stones from old unused or broken jewellery.
Feel free to contact us for more info or to discuss ideas...
tel; +44 1273 583485