Orchid earrings. Sterling silver earrings with Orchid flower.
Sterling silver earrings with Orchid flower. From Ophelia collection.
Orchid size: 25 x 29 mm.
I created my Ophelia collection on 2009 inspired by the character Ophelia from Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Ophelia is a young noblewoman of Denmark, the daughter of Polonius, sister of Laertes, and potential wife of Prince Hamlet. She’s considered a myth or archetype and usually associated with flowers around her and her unrecovered hair, a rich and often white dress, nature, night or moon. She’s usually represented just before dying, with flowers in willow or singing, or already dead, but seeming to be asleep. There’re lots of symbology and meanings about flowers but William Shakespeare in Hamlet used a specific flowers to describe Ophelia’s emotions and feelings. He used Rosemary for remembrance, Pansies for thoughts of love, Fennel for flattery, Columbines for faithfulness in wedlock, Rue for disdain and repentance, the Canker Rose for spring, Violet for faithfulness. The weeping willow tree leaning over Ophelia is a symbol of forsaken love. The nettles that are growing around the willow's branches represent pain. The daisies floating near Ophelia's right hand represent innocence.
The name orchid is derived from the Greek word “orkhis”. Due to their namesake, orchids are associated with fertility, virility, and sexuality. These associations, coupled with their exotic appearance, have given them a long history as a symbol of love, fertility and elegance throughout various cultures and time periods. Orchids are known for their fragrance and are widely used in perfumes and aromatherapy and they also have medicinal applications. They’re also believed to be powerful aphrodisiacs, and many cultures including Greece and China eat the bulbs for this purpose. Although the Victorians didn’t use orchids as magical elixirs, they did collect and display them as a sign of luxury and a means to exhibit their refined taste.