Beautifully detailed .925 Sterling Silver Scottish Unicorn and Thistle Belted Victorian Style Pendant.
Design Depicts a Unicorn Rampant within a Victorian Style Belt Surrounded with Scottish Thistles.
Bale is attached to back behind the top thistle.
Measures 2″ in height 1.36″ in width and is handcast .925 Sterling Silver.
The official animal of Scotland is the Unicorn. A fictitious creature may seem an odd choice for a country’s national animal, but perhaps not for a country famed for its love for and long history of myth and legend, and the unicorn has been a Scottish heraldic symbol since the 12th century, when it was used on an early form of the Scottish coat of arms by William I.Unicorns were worshipped by the ancient Babylonians, and written descriptions of them appear in texts from the ancient Persians, the Romans, the Greeks and ancient Jewish scholars, all describing a horse-like creature whose single horn had magical properties and could heal disease.In Celtic mythology, the Unicorn of Scotland symbolized innocence and purity, healing powers, joy and even life itself, and was also seen as a symbol of masculinity and power.During the reign of King James III (1466 – 1488), gold coins were introduced that featured a Unicorn, and at the time of King James VI of Scotland’s succeeding of Elizabeth I of England, and the resulting effective union of the two countries, the Scottish Royal Arms featured two unicorns as shield supporters. In a gesture of unity, King James replaced the one on the left with the English lion.
The symbolism was potent, for the lion and the unicorn had long been painted as enemies, vying for the crown of king of beasts, with the unicorn ruling through harmony and the lion by might.
Today, the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland still has the English lion on the left and the Scottish unicorn on the right, and the Royal Coat of Arms for use in Scotland has them the other way round.
The heraldic unicorn is pictured as being chained, because according to folklore a free unicorn was a dangerous beast.
The prickly purple thistle was adopted as the Emblem of Scotland during the rein of Alexander III (1249 -1286). Legend has it that an Army of King Haakon of Norway, intent on conquering the Scots landed at the Coast of Largs at night to surprise the sleeping Scottish Clansmen. In order to move more stealthily under the cover of darkness the Norsemen removed their footwear.
As they drew near to the Scots it wasn’t the only thing hiding under the cover of darkness. For one of Haakon’s men unfortunately stood on one of these spiny little defenders and shrieked out in pain, alerting the Clansmen of the advancing Norsemen. Needless to say the Scots who won the day. The first use of the Thistle as a royal symbol of Scotland was on silver coins issued by James III in 1470.
Artist: Maxine Miller
Specializing in Scottish, Irish, Welsh and the Celtic and Pagan Communities Worldwide.
We are designers and manufacturers of a wide range of fine Sterling Jewelry, Statuary, Wall Plaques, Printed Tee Shirts and Apparel, and other Unique Gift Items. Our Flagship line is Scottish Clan Crest T-Shirts, Sterling Silver Clan Crest Badges, Clan Crest, Wall Plaques. We feature many lines of merchandise that are available for both Wholesale and Retail Customers.