Ancient cultures take an important place in our inspiration to make jewelry. Works left by man through time are fascinating such as objects, beliefs or legends…
In order to explain our jewelry inspired by different civilizations, we generally start our journey from the abstract concept to the concrete one, from history to archeological reproduction representations.
Our jewels reflect different moments of history which are influenced by traditional and typical patterns which are memory vectors referring to a geographical zone in the world.
A cross, a fleur de lis or a shield evoke the medieval period. The swirl patterns of a leaf remind us of the baroque period tapestries. The meanders or diamond shape that you can find in several of our creations, as well as flora and fauna on Otomi textiles remind of the Mexican culture. Or the spirals remind of the Neolithic period and the Celts…
Having a look at our engraved bands section will allow you to quickly guess our influences.
Here is a list of links to get access to these themes: ;
There are stories from the past that are not visual but oral. For example, some sentences have been resonating for centuries and are part of our culture. Sometimes, we decide to use quotes that are part of our history to make jewelry. Therefore, the aesthetic part is left to our imagination.
In the abstract field, and more particularly of sciences, you have to simplify the interpretation to make them. For example, mathematics science is present through our ring Fibonacci which math sequence in the shape of a spiral can be found in certain constructions of the living.
As for the Vitruve ring, it refers to the sketch of Leonardo Da Vinci illustrating the ideal proportions of man.
Another and last example is the ring Darwin (with the representation of his theory on the evolution of man).
The creation of a jewel comes from the passion of investigating in antique civilizations, through books or going to a museum to know more about the history or myths that go into it. Our choice generally is about an archeological object full of history and that speaks to us, but will be poorly published or not well known from the public.
The objects we choose are not reproduced a lot, or not at all. We avoid (most of the time) historical jewelry that is mass produced by the Chinese industry. Our specificity is focused sometimes on the unique representation of a piece but with a special meaning.
Our choices are sometimes good, and sometimes not so good, even on the first step which is about drawing the piece. Also, it happens that once reached the stage of having the jewel in our hands, finished and polished, the result is not as nice as we thought it would be.
When a jewel finally lands in our shop, this means it met all our expectations. As you may have guessed, a lot of these trials do not get to the end.
Australia is a country full of history and archeological treasures. Aborigines and their communion with nature show an ideal and a lost relationship with it, and that is omnipresent in its rock paintings.
The necklace Kiro Kiro aborigine ritual is an example of this link with nature. It was created from a cave painting dating which would date from 10 000 years before Christ. Aboriginal rock art Kiro Kiro generally represents anthropomorphic silhouettes adorned with ritual accessories such as bags, pompoms and stylized hairdress. In most cases, these paintings represent rituals or initiation rites, or shamanic ceremonies. This particular painting caught our attention by its elegance and delicacy in the characters’ representation.
Oceania or the Pacific Islands is also a region that we like to explore. It is not only about these magnificent paradise islands but about everything that revolves around this culture of great sailors. Their beliefs and their imagination are particularly reflected in prticular in the famous Maori tattoos which have traveled around the world. These tattoos have already inspired some of our jewelry, but during our research, we discovered other objects that reflect the imagination of Oceanians.
This is the case for this shield from the Elema culture originating from the Gulf of Papua. It takes the particular shape of a “U” in wood and is colored with pigments. It features geometric patterns with friezes of triangles and the representation of different eyes of which we have made a pair of earrings, which name is Oceanian shield. This object from the Pacific Islands is currently kept at the Brooklyn Museum, in the United States: Brooklyn Museum Collection.
The antique worlds of Greece and Rome are probably the most famous ones. They still fascinate people with their imaginary and mythology.
The cufflinks Spartan shields were a custom order. They represent the famous shield of the Sparta city warriors with traces left on the shield during the fights. You can also see the letter Lambda that the Greek warriors would wear to show their Laconia region origin.
We also made the Phaistos pendant inspired by the same disc. It was also a custom order showing a part of the antique object and a stone. This clay disc was found during archeological excavations of the Minoan palace of Phaistos in Crete and could date back to 2000 years before Christ. It is covered with symbols on the two sides and it is hand stamped. There is no proof of authenticity of this object either.
Africa is also a wide territory that we studied a bit at school and that is rich in treasures.
The Katanga earrings were made inspired by the copper axe from the Songye tribu of the Katanga region in Congo. The axes from these people do show original shapes and reveal a high control and a wide knowledge of metal work.
We are also very interested in the Norse tribes who were great adventurers and warriors.
For the last creations inspired by this culture, we focused on two old drum skins coming from the Sami culture in Scandinavia. The drum is an instrument linked to shamanic rituals of this north tribu. It is also a guardian of the memory and the Cosmo vision. This is the reason why they are often decorated with patterns that are meant to guide the shaman in his spiritual journey. The first one is called “shaman drum” and comes from Lule Lappmark in Sweden. You can also see the sun with the goddesses Ahkka and the moon. On the lower part, you can see anthropomorphic and theriomorph silhouettes. The second one is called Sami drum and shows 3 universes: Asgard or the paradise, Midgard or the Earth, and Niflheim or underworld. It tells the adventure of the god Thor and of Eymer the big snake.
We also explored the Galdrastafir, the magical Icelandic symbols. They come from an old book from the 17th century but their origin is probably older, from the medieval period. They are made with celtic runes and have different roles, but the most important is protection.
The first pendant is a talisman who shows two galdrastafir, one on each face. It is called Iceland Rune. On the front, we have Aegishjalmur who would protect and give invincibility during the battle. On the back you can see Vegsivir that guides the travelers during bad weather.
The second piece of jewelry is a ring named Vegsivir that comes from the galdrastatfir on it.
Mexico and prehispanic cultures are very important in our jewelry due to the richness of ethnics and cultures in this country. In our catalog, you will mainly find references to Aztecs, Olmecs, Mayas, Otomis, Huicholes, Zapotecs and Mixtecs. The last two groups belong to the state of Oaxaca where we live.
One of the very first series of engraved jewelry we made comes from the Maya calendar. It is an esthetically interesting object with a variety of glyphs for each day, month and year. This technical prowess represents one of the most precise calendars made by men.
We therefore learnt how to calculate dates in the Maya system to create a jewel showing the date that the customer chose for a custom order. You can find it as a pendant, earrings, brooch and ring. You can also find a more complete explanation on the following page: Mayan calendar
The amazing work that is called “Mexican greeks”, and that you can find in the city of Mitla impacted us with the delicacy of intricate traced patterns…
These greek patterns can be found in a lot of Mexican cultures, with variations an regionalism, and even abroad. Their context is also quite variable: you can find them on temple facades, of nobility residence, on grave facades, on jewelry… there is no satisfactory interpretations. According to the models, we will talk about life cycle, water representation, eyes, snake, sacred diamond…
To illustrate these patterns, we chose to use the treasure of the tumb 7 of Monte Alban. This archeological site in Oaxaca was the capital of the Zapotec empire until 800 years after Christ. A few hundred years after its abandonment, the Mixtec population came to bury an important character, maybe a woman linked to the cult of water. She was found with the greatest treasure discovered in Mexico and that you can admire today at the regional museum of Oaxaca de Juarez. Among this treasure, you could find a series of rings that we decided to replicate in our own way.
We made the ring named “Tesoro zapoteco”, meaning “zapotec treasure” to refer to this fabulours treasure which was discovered in Monte Alban. This sterling silver ring shows a Zapotec geometric pattern. It probably evokes water and movement through its spirals, as well as life by the stairs representation. The tradition often interprets this Zapotec pattern as a snake, symbol of water and fertility.
The second ring, inspired also by the treasure of the tumb 7 of Monte Alban, is called “serpiente de agua” or “water snake”. The pattern it shows is common and also appears on the facades of palaces (Teotitlan del valle) or tumbs (Yagul). This pattern is often compared to eyes made by the body of a snake. They refer to water and to the rain god, Cocijo.
The last ring is called Ga Yixe and refers to the goddess “9 herbs” whose priestesses maybe occupied the tumb 7, where the ring was discovered. We only used the ring part of the jewel which was present in the tumb, made of gold and silver.
We also made a series of Mexican pendants based on the glyphs or symbols that you can find in the writing engraved in stone or on codex.
We have two pendants referring to the Ollin pattern or “movement”, in Aztec writing but represented in two different ways. The first one, name Ollin, represents movement and tremor. The second one, named Nahui Ollin is a little more complex and refers to the 4 movements of the sun, between solstices and equinoxes. They come from an Aztec “book” called Codex Borbonicus.
Another glyph that we decided to explore is the rabbit on the moon that we took from the codex of Borgia, dating back to the 16th century. It represents the moon goddess, Metztli and the rabbit on the moon. As we were investigating, we discovered that a lot of cultures around the world mention the silhouette of the rabbit.
We also chose two representations of Olmec hands. This Mexican civilization is called the mother culture and is the origin of all the developments that happened afterwards. It dates back to 2500 before Christ until 500 before Christ. These two pendants coming from seals are named Olmec hand and Creator power. The hand in Prehispanic cultures is a symbol of power and creation. It is a symbol for a lot of cultures around the world evoking ability, craftsmanship…
In order to follow the same theme, we made a foot which pattern comes from an Olmec seal. This pendant evokes movement. It can also mean moving from one point to another. Therefore, we named it Movement because you can see a foot nested in another foot and giving the idea of stepping.
We also selected a glyph for the pendant “eclipse”. This pattern comes from the codex Tonalmatl, an Aztec document. On the upper part, it represents a sun, and in the lower part, a sky with stars. It could recall the cycle of day and night.
We also made a pendant which is a copy of an Aztec stone drum that we called Xochipilli, god of music, love, games, beauty, danse, flowers and poetry. This ritual instrument is called teponaxtle or horizontal drum. It was used in ceremonies.
For one of our customers, we made a pendant of an important Mayan god Kukulkan or the feathered snake. He is the god of the four elements, the creator and is a symbol of resurrection and reincarnation. He would also give the vital element to the Maya civilization: corn. We used the god representation coming from the lintel 15 of the structure 22 of the archeological site of Yaxchilan. You can spot Wak Tuun, the wife of the king bird jaguar IV in a ritual that consisted to offer her blood to get a vision of Kukulkan, the vision snake. Our customer wished to add a turquoise stone as a symbol of water.
Following the same inspiration, we made another pendant on the feathered snake theme that was simply called Feathered snake, but with an Aztec origin. This representation of the Quetzalcoatl god comes from a tepetlacalli in the Hackmack collection which top is carved with this representation. It dates back to 1502-1520 after Christ and was probably used to stock offerings, ritual utensils or the ashes of deceased kings.
Quiquiztil is a pendant we made from a drawing carved on a musical conch. This original object represents the head of a Maya leader of the Classic period (250-400). It probably comes from the north-east of Guatemala. It is exhibited in the Kimbell Art Museum in Texas in the USA. This instrument was used in the rituals by priests to call for rain, but also by warriors to celebrate victory.
The pendant we named Mesoamerica was a custom order. This is not a pattern we would have chosen because it has been used a lot in jewelry already. However, our customer wished to have personalized with glyphs on the back. The principal pattern is the central part of the Aztec sun stone, sometimes called Aztec calendar. This big stone is exhibited at the national museum of Anthropology of Mexico and was probably a Cuauhxicalli or receptacle and sacrifice altar. It dates from 1479. We only engraved the first circles. The first one shows a head with the sun god (tonatiuh) and the earth god (tlaltecuhtli). In the second one, we have symbols of the gods Ehecatl, Texcatlipoca, Tlaloc an Chalchiuhtlicue, recalling the legend of the 4 suns (world creation). The last circle represents the 20 glyphs of the days of a month.
Just like antique Greece, Egypt is one of the first civilizations we are familiar because there is a lot to choose from with majestuous buildings, pharaohs, mythology and rituals.
Recently we made a hypocephalus which is a singular object, but not very well known by the public. An hypocephalus is an Egyptian disc that was placed under the head of mummies to ease the way to eternity and protect the dead person from devils in the underworld. The deceased person would then reach a state of “gloriousness”, such as the god Rê-Osiris.
This necklace is named Hypocephalus of Harnetatf. The original is exhibited at the British Museum. It would belong to the priest Hornedjitef of the Amon temple in Karnak between 246 and 222 before Christ. On the upper part, we can see the boat of the god Kneph (one of the main founder gods) or Chuouphis ( a form of Osiris). We can see engraved a 4 heads ram that may symbolize the city of Mendes or the god Amon-Ra. This person is worshipped by baboons.
We have made a second Egyptian hypocephalus necklace called the Hypocephalus of Djed-Hor. This one has more hieroglyphs than the first, including a text whose origin is explained to us. It was discovered in the Egyptian city of Abydos and dates from between 380-332 BC. It belongs to the priest Djed-Hor and is kept at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, USA. The inscription that surrounds the patterns is the Spell 162 from the Book of the Dead. It is a spell that is supposed to give the warmth of life, and ensure the resurrection of the dead.
Mesopotamia is the cradle of civilization with a boom during the Neolithic period as well as the beginnings of agriculture. We do love a lot this culture though it is still not very well known.
We got interested in the first systems of writings and the more particularly in the Gilgamesh epic, a first text about the adventures of the mythical hero.
The Gilgamesh necklace is an example of the famous clay tablets with the cuneiform writing. We chose a piece of a clay tablet which was discovered during archeological excavations in Kouyunjik in Irak and would date from 950 and 612 before Christ. It tells the adventures of the famous Gilgamesh and allowed to maintain this knowledge until today.
The necklace called The cylinder seal of the king of Kisch is an example of the print this Mesopotamian tool could leave. The Mesopotamian cylinder seal we present here recalls an episode of the Gilgamesh epic. The scene represents the king hero Gilgamesh and the mythical oxen between two lions. The object is exhibited at the museum of archeology and anthropology of the University of Pennsylvania. It was discovered in the tumb of Mesannepada who was the first king to appear in the list of the first dynasty of Ur, in the 26th century before Christ.
The Neolithic period is when man learns the most about nature and more particularly through agriculture. This development comes with the discovery of metals and associates experiments. This is a moment in history when man takes his place with a subtle balance that he will be able to maintain more or less until the industrial era.
The relation of man with nature is a theme we explored on a page about “druid and druidess- communication with nature”.
As for archeological reproductions, we decided to focus on two engraved stels from cairns and a menhir.
The guardian stone of Newgrange is an engraved stone that comes from an Irish cairn that dates back to 3200 years before Christ. We decided to make it as a pendant. This stone is lying at the entrance of the building. This is the reason why we called it a guardian stone. Just like on several monoliths from this period, you can see spirals which interpretation is still not clear. Often, it will be interpreted as symbols like water, wind or snakes. Recently, archeologists suggested that they could be maps which spirals would represent hills or mountains. Beyond these hypnotizing spirals, it is the position of the stone that seduced us first and made us decide to make a jewel out of it.
The second pendant comes from the Cairn of Gavrinis located in the Morbihan gulf, in the region of Brittany, in France. Situated on an island, the cairn dates back to 4000 before Christ. We chose one of the orthostats that was used to make the long corridor. It shows curved lines such as interlocking arches, cups, snake shapes, spirals, and some straight lines, chevrons and blades of vertical polished axes. There are some propositions on the meaning of these Neolithic drawings as we mentioned earlier. But in the case of Gavrinis, the water proposition is the most popular due to the fact the tumulus is on water. We also chose this stone for the uncommon layout of the curves but also for the particular location of this tumulus. We could easily imagine druids migrating to this lonesome island.
The necklace Menhir of the lady of Saint Sernin comes from a stele dating back to the 3d millennium BC. It is located in Saint Sernin sur Rance, in the department of the Aveyron in France. It is an anthropomorphic stele representing a woman with a tattooed face. We chose this menhir statue for It is one of the oldest representations of a human, and more particularly of a woman. It recalls the important place of woman in these Celtic societies as priestesses (druidesses), warriors…
Our Neolithic owl necklace comes from a copy of the many slate tablets of this bird made during the Copper Age in Spain (between 4500 and 2500 BC). This one comes from Cerro de la Cabeza, in Valencina de la Concepción in the region of Sevilla. The very fine and original design of this one immediately appealed to us. It could represent a nocturnal fertility goddess.
We took a short detour to the Pictish tribes of northern Scotland who occupied the region before the arrival of the Romans. They are a remarkable people who knew how to resist the Roman conquest and the Vikings. Often considered a mysterious and obscure people, they have left many archaeological traces and appear in many stories throughout history.
The Picts in particular left many “stele” or “slabs” engraved with magical motifs, animals, geometric shapes or historical or everyday scenes. Then, over time, more and more motifs associated with Christian symbols are integrated into it.
We chose the (Hilton) Cadboll slab, a large carved stone dated to around 800 AD and located on the Tarbat Peninsula in Easter Ross, Scotland. It is 2.34 meters high and weighs 1.9 tonnes. The main subject of this stele is a hunting scene, surrounded by traditional Pictish symbols.
Its large size did not allow us to make it in full so that its details remain visible.
For the Cadboll crescent moon necklace, we therefore chose to use only the upper part of this stele. It represents a crescent moon, crossed by lines which could symbolize broken arrows.
Prehistory represents the beginnings of man, his adaptation, his comprehension of the world as well as surviving. It is a mysterious and wild period.
The necklace Rupestre shows a hunting scene during the prehistoric period that comes from Barranc de la Valltorta of the Valencian region in Spain. It was found in the cave of horses (dels Cavalls). It shows the art of the first men and the effort they put in looking for food.
North American Indians are also part of the cultures we decided to explore. These nomadic tribes living and traveling large areas of land are a very good example of living in communion with nature. They would respect seasons and game, by taking from nature the bare necessities. Even if we are unaware of many beliefs of these Native American peoples, their creativity challenges us.
We began our exploration among the Native American tribes of the north by making the Yahwera necklace. The pattern comes from a petroglyph in the Coso Range Preserve in California. It is the pattern but also the reflections of interpretations around it that challenged us. This reflexion starts by the Shamanic vision to end with the animal-master (who is the divinity who represents and protects a particular species). There is a real interest between the human necessity and preservation. This Native American necklace represents respect for nature.
We hope you liked this article and that it inspired you too in some way. We invite you to tell us about objects or works that you love and thus, also inspire us on new paths or new civilizations which would maybe lead us to create new unique creations.
We are far from knowing everything but by sharing our interests and our tastes, there will necessarily be great things to come.