We tend to think of the iconography of the heart being a Victorian one, but its origin is in the 12th and 13th centuries, in France and Spain, the heart as an icon symbolizing love emerged at the beginning of courtly love “fin’ armor” or “extreme love”. The movement which quickly overwhelmed the Royal Courts of Europe, stipulated that the knight or royal attendant would give his love to one woman only, and proclaim that love forever. Through this process the idea of love as a noble pursuit found its voice in literature, and social values.
This heart icon with the stylized round edges and points is influenced by the first historically surviving illustration of a heart depicted in the 1344 manuscript ‘The Romance of Alexander’, written by Lambert le Tor, and completed by Alexandre de Bernay. The ornate illustrations show a variety of foliage, birds, and a couple in which the heart is presented as a gift to the female figure.
Medieval Heart Paperweight
Handcast from historical example.
Size: Width 2.25" x Height 2.75"
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