NOUVEAU JEWELRY BOXES Portray Spring Floral Fantasies Nouveau jewelry boxes were a popular item upon which was expressed many fanciful flowers which portrayed special symbolic importance during the early 1900's.
over you before the year was out. Another tale was that Spring had not arrived until you could put your foot upon twelve Daisies. Today, we enact the popular tradition. “He loves me, he loves me not.” It is considered lucky to dream of Daisies in Spring or Summer.
The common Clover has a rich symbolic folklore—not just about its leaves, but also its blossoms. It was used in festivals of the ancient Greeks. Hope was depicted as a little child standing on tiptoe, holding a Clover blossom in his hand. The Druids also used clover in their ceremonies. More recently, to dream of seeing a field of Clover indicated health, prosperity, and much happiness. A fairy tale from Cornwall goes like this: One evening a maiden set out to milk the cows later than usual, and the stars had begun to shine before she completed her task. An enchanted cow was the last to be milked, and the pail was so full that the milk-maid could hardly lift it to her head. So she gathered some handfuls of grass and Clover, spreading it upon her head, in order to carry the milk-pail more easily. But, no sooner had the Clover touched her head, then suddenly hundreds of little people appeared surrounding the cow, dipping their tiny hands into the milk and gathering it with Clover flowers. When the astonished milk-maid reached home, she recounted this wonderful experience to her mistress who at once cried out, “Ah! You put a four-leafed clover on your head.”
The Violet has always been a favorite among the first flowers of Spring. Its quiet beauty and love of sheltered spots have made it the symbol of true worth that shrinks from the parade. During the Middle Ages, there existed a curious tradition in Toulouse, France, called the “Floral Games,” which filled the poetry of that nation with symbolic images drawn from floral and botanic subjects. These poetical contests were held annually, and the prizes were awarded early in May. The author of the best poetical composition was presented with a golden violet, and the secondary writers with a silver violet A melodramatic ballad involves the fair lady Clemence Isaure, sometimes called the “Queen of Poetry,” who some say was instrumental in the revival of these games:
A knight was deeply enamored with Clemence, and she returned his passion. Her father, however, had chosen another husband. Clemence resisted the union saying that her life was at her father’s disposal but that, as long as she should live, her heart belonged to the knight. So the father had her chained and held in a strong tower, promising to kill the knight if he could. The knight learned of his mistress’s imprisonment and, like a true lover, went to the tower and repeated his vows and sorrows to Clemence. She presented him with a nosegay of violets, that he might know of her constancy, and warned him of her father’s threat. The knight departed to join the