Thursday, 30 November 2017

Symbols of Christmas

Christmas is a Christian festival rich in tradition and history, symbolism being a theme that runs heavily throughout all aspects of the celebration. From the food we eat to the decorations we choose, a British Christmas today is still largely based on the Christian celebration. Here we explore some of those meanings through antiques from Alfies.

The Star – This symbolises the star which, according to the bible, guided the three kings to the baby Jesus upon his birth, whilst also depicting the shining hope of humanity.

A Victorian gold and diamond locket, c1900. Offered by Kieron Reilly


Red – Being the first colour of Christmas, this symbolises the 'saviour's' sacrifice and represents the blood of Jesus on the cross.

A Whitefriars ruby textured 'Pot Belly' vase, 1965. Offered by Robinson Antiques

The Fir Tree – Evergreen is the second colour of Christmas, representing everlasting light and life. Mostly this is displayed through a Christmas tree, which usually comes from the evergreen conifer family such as fir, pine or spruce.

An enamel Christmas tree brooch, 1980s. Offered by Gloria Sinclair


The Bell – Ringing bells symbolise the start of the festive season and the birth of Christ.

A selection of 9ct gold charms, 1960s/70s. Offered by Good Time Antiques


The Candle – A mirror of starlight, reflecting the star of Bethlehem.

A pair of silver plate Corinthian column candle sticks, c1910. Offered by Goldsmith & Perris

Holly – The prickly leaves represent the crown of thorns, said to have been worn by Jesus when he was crucified.


The Candy Cane – A treat that represents the shape of a shepherd's crook. It is a reminder that according to the bible, Jesus - the good shepherd - was born on Christmas Day and used the crook to bring the lost lambs back to the fold. The red strip represents his blood and the white his purity.


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