This simple, delicate curve has been a favorite motif of artists and jewelers for thousands of years. Although the crescent moon appears on talismans and jewelry from some of the oldest of archaeological finds, in vintage jewelry we see it most often in Victorian and Art Nouveau era pieces.
The Roman Goddess Diana: Surge of Mythological Motifs in Art Nouveau Jewelry
Art Nouveau designs of the 1910’s were heavily influenced by mythology, and the Roman goddess Diana was a favorite subject. The goddess of the hunt, her image was carved into cameos with her bow slung across her back and a quiver of arrows behind her shoulder. Perhaps because it echoes the shape of her bow, the crescent moon has long been symbolic of the goddess Diana, and she often is represented with a crescent moon crown on her head. Jewelers and artisans sometimes crafted crescent moon brooches that were longer and slimmer than the standard, as though they were ready to be strung, and used by the goddess on a hunt!
The Message of the Crescent Moon: Honeymoon Attire
Why, you might ask, is the crescent moon the perfect wedding gift? Many crescent moon pieces are accompanied by floral motifs, such as blue and white enamel daisies or green leaves. These flowers translated to ‘honey’ and the crescents to moon. Wearing these pins told everyone that these couples were on their honeymoon! Different flowers meant different things as well: blue forget-me-nots meant true love, violets were for faithfulness, and the daisy meant innocence!
Crescent Moon Motif in Antique Jewelry
Many, if not most, crescent moons in vintage jewelry are worn as brooches. These brooches can be pinned to a bridal veil, or the wrapping of a bouquet for a special touch to a wedding ensemble. In some cases, we can convert crescent moon pins to pendants or necklaces. Please feel free to ask for details on your favorite one by contacting us here! Heirlooms in the making, these stylish crescent moons are timeless!