Comments for Gold Cross, Australia 19th Century - Eagle, 9 plus Anvil

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Act of Union? Australian Gold Fields Cross with Shamrock
by: Anonymous

Hi Kath! thanks for writing in. How appropriate to have the shamrock appear on your ACT OF UNION gold cross. A lot of thought obviously went into the design of this piece.

An elaborate language based on flower symbolism developed during the Victorian era. The symbolic meaning of flowers represented emotions and was developed to a high degree during these times.

In legend, it is said, that St. Patrick once plucked a leaf of it for use in illustrating the doctrine of the trinity.

The shamrock has been revered as sacred, from the time of the Druids. It grew with such vitality that in the meaning of flowers it came to represent life itself.  Medieval love poetry continued this association where young couples would meet or make love in clover. 

The Act of Union of 1803 that incorporated Ireland into British polity turned out useless in easing the difficulties of the Irish people.. With an overly large population the Irish soon became impoverished. Add to this, the religious prejudice of the Protestant Masters to the Catholic Irish, many had no alternative but to emigrate to the United States and Australia for relief.

Starving families that could not pay landlords faced no alternative but to leave the country in hopes of a better future.
The gold fields of Australia from which the cross was formed most likely represented a new "golden" life down under.

Kath, I'm running out of space here. I will do some research and see what I can find out about the markings. There weren't all that many jewelers in Australia in the very early days of the colony. Do you know if your Great Grandfather had this piece made in France?

Here is an early version act of an act of union cross. Seller claims it is Georgian.

Yvonne Hammouda-Eyre
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