Monday, November 19, 2012

New Obsession....Laurel Wreath Awards

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!




therelishedroost said...

Oh, I love those!! What a beautiful accessory to add to any type of decor, the unexpected! Great Post!
Happy Monday! Karolyn

Phyllis Trevor Higgerson, Henhurst said...

Yes! I think they are fabulous as well!!
Have a good week and happy Thanksgiving!

Divine Theatre said...

I KNOW! I actually bought two plastic laurel wreaths from ebay; The kind people wear on Halloween..and spray painted them to look like bronze!
Good enough for now!

Kisses to Dylan!



debra @ 5th and state said...

where have i been? never gave laurel wreaths a serious glance, now i am feeling covetous. you can bet my antiquing jaunts will include them (for you of course!)

love the history too deb


La Dolfina said...

I totally get your newest crush!
They are pretty fabulous and I love the background you brought us. You can be sure I will be on the look out for you on my travels from now on!!!!
I hope your hubby delivers for Christmas!!!


Divine Theatre said...

Look, Debra!

Taylor Greenwalt said...

Debra, I love these too....I never see them. If you find a share, I would love to have a few of them.

Pura Vida said...

love love the one with acorns!

Mary Ann Pickett said...

Loved this fascinating about Apollo and have me wanting some.

Luciane at said...

Hello Debra!

How are you doing, my friend???

I adore this post. It reminded me of my grandma. She had something like this when I was a kid. I'd love to have something similar to this at home.

I came here to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving, my friend.

Big hugs to you!

Luciane at

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Good morning Debra!

How are you? Are you finished with all of your work for the winter? I am sure that you are on to other things, like preparation for your Thanksgiving dinner!

These wreathes are fabulous! I love the one with the acorns, but frankly I think they area ll interesting. I had no idea of the history behind them, thank you for sharing!

I hope you have a great week, Elizabeth

michele said...

oh debra. you are killing me. they are magnificent. i love them and loved learning about the history. feeling full of inspiration thanks to you, lovely woman.

pop by and go shopping with me in paris, oui?

smiles to you.


Woodside Park said...

Hi, Debra - I love these, as well! I have a couple laurel wreath awards and one tiny pin at home. I never knew the origin and significance....thank you for sharing! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I Dream Of said...

Oh Debra, these are lovely. What treasures. I hope Santa brings you one for Christmas. Enjoy a lovely Thanksgiving week. Warm wishes to you and your family! XO

Room Seventeen said...

Oh I love it! Beautiful! The first picture is stunning!

Room Seventeen said...

Mistake... the second picture of course. I really love the wreaths and the silver colors.

The French Tangerine said...

I am totally with you on this obsession.. I have a couple images saved myself.. I've never seen any in person, so the collecting part might not come easy. Rare usually comes with a big price tag too!
Loved this post- satisfying our obsessions by blogging!

Lee said...

Debra, I now know about these little wreaths and they are absolutely gorgeous. I never really saw them. What will u use them for? Will you hang them on the wall? They are stunning. Thanks for teaching me about them.

An Urban Cottage said...

Wow, I love the ones on the little stands in the first photo. I would take a few myself!

Happy Thanksgiving!

La Brocanteuse said...

Adore these D and wonderful post! Hope your hubby spoils you with the desired laurels.. XxCol

The enchanted home said...

I want one!!! Now you have me curious and wanting to find one of my own:) I only saw one a few years ago when we were in France at someones home that we went to dinner for, it really caught my eye and was gorgeous. I think they are quite pricey....let us know if you find one!
Happy Thanksgiving.....wishing you a happy, healthy and relaxing holiday!

Unknown said...

Hi Debra!!!

I love this! Every night I sleep under an Amy Howard laurel wreath! 10 years ago, when deciding on a new master bed, we loved the look of her furniture line, so we have a beautiful wooden, hand painted headboard with laurel wreaths!! I'll appreciate it even more now, knowing your appreciation for them.

I hope you have the most wonderful Thanksgiving!
xoxo Elizabeth

A Perfect Gray said...

ah! these are divine, debra. I have to say I have never seen one, or don't remember seeing one. but thanks for passing on this obsession. I'll be looking out for a wreath from now on. happiest of holidays to you! donna

carolyn bradford said...

My laurel wreath sconce that I brought back from a house in Normandy is getting a much "prettier" tag on it tomorrow! I always knew I loved it!!! Hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful! And yes, I love laurel wreaths and think this is a wonderful thing to start collecting!

Sharon Lee Johnson said...

How beautiful. I have never even come across them before - but if I did I think I might have to start collecting them too. x Sharon

pve design said...

Now that I don't have one I want one. I think I may just draw one....or create one for my front door.
They are stunning and as always, I love learning from you the history and meaning.

Anonymous said...

These are beyond gorgeous. I love the greek story behind them. Perhaps I should be turned into a tree too that way no on could pursue me! Ha ha. Gotta love that Daphne. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving too, Debra!! xo

Anonymous said...

They are all very lovely. I've seen Laurel wreaths here and there and thought they would be great to have, but I never knew the history. Now the next time I come across one I think I'll buy!

Anonymous said...

They are all very lovely. I've seen Laurel wreaths here and there and thought they would be great to have, but I never knew the history. Now the next time I come across one I think I'll buy!

Teresa Hatfield ~ Splendid Sass said...

Your post NEVER disappoint! Thank you for sharing not only the wreaths and source, but the history behind these beauties.
Happy Tuesday.

Thoughts on Design said...

Beautiful! and it looks like just a few would go a long long way, so to speak.

have a wonderful Thanksgiving!



I collect Tiaras!FRENCH mainly.......loved the history on the laurel.THANK ~YOU!

Leslie said...

I find Greek mythology so fascinating! A little romance in all the stories :) I always enjoy finding out the origin of these kinds of things. They are beautiful and definitely worth starting a collection Debra! I'm sure the Mister will get the hint and begin his quest to find the perfect one/s ;)

Enjoy a long weekend. Are you hosting? Have fun!


Garden, Home and Party said...

What a great post. I didn't know the history of the laurel wreath and have never seen one with the oak leaves and acorns (I love acorns and oak leaves). These are amazing samples. I did recently purchase a vintage trophy with a girl holding a laurel wreath in her extended arm. What fun, hope Mr. Acquired Objects makes your Christmas wishes come true!

lvroftiques said...

Durn it Debra! Now you have me hooked too! They are soooo deluscious! Happy Thanksgiving girlfriend! Vanna

MJH Design Arts said...

Hi Debra, I have just discovered that you are "Oreillers"!!! I love this post--I learned the answer to something that I had always wondered about--thank you. And I love your pillows--devine.

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Debra, what a wonderful post! Thank you for all the information and history. I used to see these every now and then but not so much anymore. I absolutely understand your obsession with them.
I haven't been blogging in a few months but hope to start up again in time for the new year...coming much too soon!
Happy Thanksgiving to you, Mister Man and Dylan too! XO

Fashion-isha said...

What a unique object and sooo pretty! Thanks for sharing and happy Thanksgiving!

Heather Robinson said...

Gosh Debra, I have never seen these before! No, not even in France. I think they are so fine. Hoping Santa is good to you this year. ;)

Sending you and your hubby, not to mention dear Dylan Dog wishes for a very, very Happy Thanksgiving!! Something tells me that you will be cooking up a storm...

Sara Louise said...

The wreath crowns are simply stunning!

Splendid Willow said...

Debra, let me know when you will let me go shopping with you! (:

Just stopping by to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.

Hugs all the way from Sweden. Not a pumpkin pie in sight...

oxox, Mon

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Gorgeous Debra...I may have a new obsession! Happy Thanksgiving weekend! XO, Mona

Travel With Lulu said...

Great story! - I would have guessed it symbolized a union (treaty) between France and England (oak's a natl symbol). I totally get the obsession for these classic beauties - my newest obsession is vintage kitchen canisters - you can never have too many of those - or can you?!

Im Spiegel said...

Those are absolutely beautiful.

Ivy Clad said...

Wow! These are definitely crush-worthy. I completely understand you fervor for them. I hope Santa puts a few under the tree for you.


cindy hattersley design said...

Well now I am obsessed as well. I don't know if I should thank you or not?!! Beautiful...very inspiring post!

Eddie Ross said...

I've always loved laurel wreaths, too! So chic right now. Hope all is well!

E + J

Stacey said...

This was a very enlightening post Debra! Thanks for sharing and now I'm intrigued with laurel wreaths... Beautiful post. XX

Ivy and Elephants said...

These are just fantastic! So very interesting. I can see why you are drawn to collecting it. Best of luck on your hunt!
New follower,

Jeane M. said...

Wow seems like I'm getting caught in this laurel wreath decor inspiration in this post. Must take this in my bucket list. :) Got my eye on your next posts.

sharon santoni at my french country home said...

I just love these Debra, I'm not surprised you were drawn in by them! And I can tell you it's something I've hardly ever seen here
warmest wishes

Stacy CUrran said...

Beautiful Debra. I love how your new obsessions are always really new to me! I haven't seen this anywhere else in blogland!

Fashion-isha said...

Hey there thanks for all your visits to my blog. Waiting anxiously for your next post!

zanetastyle said...

Stunning! Great idea for antique treasure hunts(: need one now.
Hugs z

Karena said...

Debra I was not going to get too excited about anything else I don't NEED; however these are all fabulous! I love the ones on the stands!


LaPouyette said...

Would love to have them all!
To be "awarded" for my life's work - ha-ha-ha :)

Great post again, dear Debra!

Warmest greetings from a greyish Périgord,

Wild Oak Designs said...

Oh my gosh, I didn't know those even existed anymore...lovely...I don't blame you for starting a collection, I would too!
I have been collecting mercury glass, clay cook pots, white ware just to name a few.
Love the pictures, Thanks!

Luciane at said...

Hi, my beautiful Debra,

Just wanted to stop by and wish you a blessed day.

With Love,

Luciane at

Ivy Clad said...

Wouldn't some tiny laurel wreaths make charming Christmas tree ornaments? I hope your Christmastime is going well!


Stacey said...

Hi sweet friend,
I just have the urge to send/give you a nice big hug. Much love to you and the fam.(yes, can you tell i'm emotional, but who isn't right now?) XX

Barbara@HausDesign said...

I love them too and I can guess, by the number of comments, that I am not alone. :) It is so elegant - always makes me think of an elegant greek goddess!

Jacqueline said...

You have introduced us to a stunning new collectible. They are so classic and beautiful. Now we all want them.

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Hello Debra!

I hope that you are well and have most of your wok finished from your busy season. I would love to hear about your new finds, adventures and to see your trees that you found in the forest.

What is on your baking schedule? I have made so many things I lost count.

Take care and enjoy your guests, xxooelizabeth

Splendid Willow said...

Beautiful Debra,

As always I learn a ton visiting. The laurel leaves your showing are stunning. Now you're forcing me to keep my eyes open for some!

I'm signing off from blogland for the season but want you to know that I truly enjoy you, your writing and your creativity. You rock!

Love to you and your family,


Thanh Le said...

Nice blog. I will keep visiting this website very often. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog.
Thanh Le - HomeDesignLove.Com

Alys said...

Love love your blog! Avid follower and I just added you to my blogs blog role. Stop by sometime.

Victoria said...

I also love laurel wreaths, especially the crowns. I have a bronze wreath that was probably an ornamentation because it has two pin holes for attaching to something. I have had it so long that I cannot even remember where I acquired it, but it has been propped up among my treasures for years. I haven't ever seen another laurel wreath in any form in person. Good luck in your hunt and I hope your Christmas wish comes true.


I share your love of laurel awards. yay! I was lucky enough to find one at an estate sale here in Colorado. I didn't know what it was at the time, only that I had to have it. It is particularly wonderful but they seem to be about as rare as hen's teeth. Nice to meet a kindred spirit!


Linda said...

Hi Debra - I felt the same way when I saw Amy's collection on Facebook. I started searching as well - but for the kind that she had...on a stand. I couldn't find anything like she had. Looked again today in fact.

Thanks for your post - I have to look at the sites you mentioned. I would still love to acquire a few of the laurel wreaths. But - my collecting is getting a bit out of hand and I promised myself to "go lighter" in 2013. That may never happen!!


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