Valentine's day

(there are more things in the air but love)

Magnificent Fifties brooch bird of paradise

Click here to get to the descriptive page of this pendant.

The origin of Valentine's day

The popular customs connected with Saint Valentine's Day's probably originated in medieval England and France. The most likely origin of the habits of Valentine's day is the old belief that birds starting to mate at February 14th. Specially in the Middle Ages, when "courtly love" was in flower, this belief was widely spread.

This belief about "love-birds" is probably the reason Saint Valentine's feast day came to be seen as specially consecrated to lovers, and as a proper occasion for writing love letters and sending lover's tokens. English and French literature of the fourteenth and fifteenth-century contain allusions to this practice.

In the 14th Century the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer writes in his "Parliament of Foules":

For this was sent of Seynt Valentine's day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.

Either the bird in the picture above is a Bird of Paradise or a rather feathery dove. One or the other, both could be considered Valentine's love symbolisms par-excellence. The Bird of Paradise represents (not surprisingly) paradise and doves in Victorian poetic terms are the symbol of love...

So why say it with flowers if you can say it with birds?

Antiqualy yours,
The Adin team

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