I first got a little obsessed with laurel wreaths when Amy Howard posted about her collection. Trust me I spent a few days searching far and wide for one of these little gems to no avail. There’s just something about then that drew me in big time!
Then I saw this image on pinterest and I thought there might be some hope in finding a laurel wreath of my very own. “Leaf crowns and "sprays" were used in France, Holland and Belgium to award people for their achievements or services, as our trophies do. There were sprays of leaves hung on doors, pinned on clothing and sometimes in the form of a wreath crown.”
"A laurel wreath is made from the branches and leaves of the laurel tree and is worn on the head as an emblem of victory. It has been worn by winners of games and competitions like the Olympics and also worn by important people throughout history. Today, it is an award for winning a championship or commemorating an important event."
A laurel wreath is a circular wreath made of interlocking branches and leaves of the bay laurel, an aromatic broadleaf evergreen. Now I know what a bay leaf looks like but if you’ll notice the wreaths seem to have oak leaves intermixed as well so I got curious as to why.
The story goes: The use of this wreath comes from the Greek myth involving Apollo, Zeus’ son and the god of life and light, who fell in love with the nympe Daphne. When he pursued her she fled and asked the river god Peneus to help her. Peneus turned her into a laurel tree. From that day, Apollo wore a wreath of laurel on his head.
The use of oak leaves symbolized wisdom, and were associated with Zeus, who according to Greek mythology made his decisions while resting in an oak grove. Since Zeus was Apollo’s Dad that’s how the two leaves were mixed together. As you can see from this bridal wreath crown they also used the berries from the laurel plant and acorns from the oak tree.
You would think these little laurel leaf wreath awards would be easier to find then something carved out of wood and gold leafed but luckily I found a few that are going on my Christmas wish list. Since Mister man reads my blog…Oh honey!
I was trying very hard not to collect anything new but I can’t help myself and got my collection started off with two small finds. Two 19th century stamped copper awards from France with of course Laurel wreaths!
So who out there shares my love of laurel wreaths? Or what else might you collect?
The holiday Season is just around the corner starting this week with Thanksgiving. I would like to wish each and every one of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!