Clare Gibson

Clare Gibson

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London, UK / Symbols enthusiast, writer and editor. Author of books on symbols, and on other subjects. http://twitter.com/MrsSymbols, http://on.fb.me/MrsSymbols and http://w
Clare Gibson
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Time Unveiling Truth,  1733,Jean-François Detroy; wings and a scythe identify white-haired Time, who is shown revealing the body of his daughter, (naked) Truth. The four cardinal virtues are Fortitude (whose lion symbolises courage); Justice (sword and scales, power and impartiality); Temperance (water-filled pitcher, abstinence); and Prudence (snake, wisdom). The woman being unmasked represents Fraud. (National Gallery)

AJean-François de Troy – French)n Allegory Of Time

An eighteenth- or nineteenth-century Japanese mother-of-pearl netsuke in the form of a carp shown swimming upstream, 'a symbol . . . of successful perseverance'. (Victoria & Albert Museum)

Netsuke, mother-of-pearl carved with carp and spray with inlaid eyes, Japan, or century.

An illumination from a French psalter and hours, c.1300, depicting Christ entering Jerusalem on a donkey, his hand raised in the symbolic gesture of blessing; two men are seen waving (approximations of) palm branches, which were a symbol of victory in ancient Rome, later becoming a Christian symbol of victory over death; (Yates Thompson 15   f. 17v). (British Library)

An illumination from a French psalter and hours, c.1300, depicting Christ entering Jerusalem on a donkey, his hand raised in the symbolic gesture of blessing; two men are seen waving (approximations of) palm branches, which were a symbol of victory in ancient Rome, later becoming a Christian symbol of victory over death; (Yates Thompson 15 f. 17v). (British Library)

The garnet, pearls, clasped hands and floral shape presented by this lovely C17th Italian ring together symbolise passion, purity, marriage and love. (Victoria & Albert Museum)

Made in Italy, Enamelled gold fede ring set with pearls surrounding an almandine garnet engraved with clasped hands the back of the bezel engraved with a red flower. (with later Roman mark for gold

Shell pendant (right) painted with an eye, Paris, France, 1850-1920; this, and the two other amulets were worn to ward off the evil eye and eye infections. (Science Museum, London, via the Wellcome Collection)

Shell pendant (right) painted with an eye, Paris, France, 1850-1920; this, and the two other amulets were worn to ward off the evil eye and eye infections. (Science Museum, London, via the Wellcome Collection)

A thirteenth-century English brooch made of gold and sapphire; the praying hands at the bottom symbolise the wearer's Christian faith; the sides are inscribed 'Ave Maria' ('Hail Mary'). (Walters Art Museum)

Amuletic Brooch English century (Medieval) gold, sapphire Small praying hands serve as a delicate symbol of the faith represented by this brooch. One end is set with a sapphire, while the sides bear the inscription "Ave Maria " (Hail Mary).

An ancient Roman triple representation of Hekate, dark goddess of the crossroads, magic and the lunar underworld, flanked by the three Graces. (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

centuriespast: “ Marble statuette of triple-bodied Hekate and the Three Graces Period: Late Hellenistic Date: century A. Culture: Roman Medium: Marble The Metropolitan Museum of Art ”

A St Patrick's cross, a circular badge made of cloth featuring a cross decorated with rosettes; St Patrick's crosses were traditionally worn by children in Ireland on St Patrick's Day, 17 March. (National Museum of Ireland)

A St Patrick's cross, a circular badge made of cloth featuring a cross decorated with rosettes; St Patrick's crosses were traditionally worn by children in Ireland on St Patrick's Day, 17 March. (National Museum of Ireland)

A simnel cake, traditionally presented by children to mothers on Mothering Sunday in the UK; the eleven marzipan balls symbolise Jesus's twelve disciples, minus the traitorous Judas.

A simnel cake, traditionally presented by children to mothers on Mothering Sunday in the UK; the eleven marzipan balls symbolise Jesus's twelve disciples, minus the traitorous Judas.

A portrait of Esther Inglis (1571 - 1624), calligrapher and miniaturist, painted by an unknown artist in 1595; the intertwined carnation/pink and honeysuckle may denote her engagement, carnations/pinks symbolising betrothal or marriage, and honeysuckle, feminine fragrancy and clinginess. (National Galleries of Scotland)

A portrait of Esther Inglis (1571 - 1624), calligrapher and miniaturist, painted by an unknown artist in 1595; the intertwined carnation/pink and honeysuckle may denote her engagement, carnations/pinks symbolising betrothal or marriage, and honeysuckle, feminine fragrancy and clinginess. (National Galleries of Scotland)

A portrait of Esther Inglis (1571 - 1624), calligrapher and miniaturist, painted by an unknown artist in 1595; the intertwined carnation/pink and honeysuckle may denote her engagement, carnations/pinks symbolising betrothal or marriage, and honeysuckle, feminine fragrancy and clinginess. (National Galleries of Scotland)

A portrait of Esther Inglis (1571 - 1624), calligrapher and miniaturist, painted by an unknown artist in 1595; the intertwined carnation/pink and honeysuckle may denote her engagement, carnations/pinks symbolising betrothal or marriage, and honeysuckle, feminine fragrancy and clinginess. (National Galleries of Scotland)

An ancient Chinese funerary sculpture of a dog, made to guard and repel malign influences symbolically. (LACMA)

An ancient Chinese funerary sculpture of a dog, made to guard and repel malign influences symbolically. (LACMA)