Lily of the Valley Apothecary Necklace ✦ 18 Inches ✦ Lily of the Valley Collection
It is common knowledge that lily of the valley is a deadly poison. All parts of this stunning and aromatic plant contain cardiac glycosides, which can fatally impact the heart if ingested. But did you know this plant has also been used as medicine? The poison is in the dose, as they say, and in carefully moderated amounts, this plant can heal rather than hurt. As far back as ancient Greek mythology, the sun god Apollo gifted lily of the valley to Aesculapius, the Great Healer and god of medicine, with the intention that Aesculapius would use the plant in treatments and cures. Lily of the valley is known to steady a frantic pulse and strengthen a weak heart, yet the same properties that allow this can also stop the heart altogether. The flowers steeped in wine were used to treat gout, and yet too much of this treatment caused extreme digestive disturbances. Lily of the valley was commonly used to treat nervous disorders, but in excess the plant causes mental confusion and panic. It was used as an antidote to gas poisoning during WWI, and yet is a poison itself. Lily of the valley tells us: “Treat me carefully, and I’ll help. Treat me carelessly, and you’ll pay.” This piece is inspired by the paradoxical nature of lily of the valley, by poison as medicine, and by the intriguing balance between beautiful and deadly. Three stunning expertly cut rose cuts of dark and earthy vesuvianite sit aligned between sterling flourishes. Suspended from the main portion of the pendant is a handmade apothecary jar with lily of the valley inside. This imagery is an ode not only to the medicinal properties of this poisonous plant and to the Victorian era which adored it, but also to my first encounter with a wild woodland patch of lily of the valley over a year ago. I dried some flowers and leaves from that formative experience, and I still keep them in an apothecary jar in my studio. My maker's mark and .925 for sterling have been stamped on the back of the piece, which has been blackened and sanded to highlight the details and heighten the magic.
✦ Details ✦ Sterling silver. Natural vesuvianite. 18 inches total length. Please note that due to factors such as neck and bust size, torso length, etc. a certain chain length may appear slightly longer or shorter on the model than it will on you. Pendant measures 2 1/2 inches across the stone portion and 2 1/2 inches from the middle of the stone portion to the bottom of the apothecary jar. You will receive the pictured necklace.
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✦ As with all handmade jewelry, my pieces are delicate and should not be worn during strenuous activity or in water. Please take care to remove all pieces while swimming, bathing, washing hands, playing sports, applying cosmetics, etc.