My grandmother's parents were both from Norway, so I am very fond of anything Scandinavian, including jewelry. This brings us to Norwegian Solje jewelry. Solje jewelry is often represented as a pin or brooch, but earrings, necklaces, earrings, and other items are also designed. The people of rural Norway were known for wearing silver jewelry in some form on a daily basis back in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Simple pins were worn to fasten clothes, and on special occassions, more ornate pieces adorned traditional folk costumes known as "bunads."
During rights of passage, such as baptism or marriage, Solje jewelry was often given to protect the wearer. The pin above is an example of a smaller Solje pin, most likely given to an infant. Norwegians, with their strong folkloric beliefs, felt that people were very susceptible to evil spirits from the underworld at these times of transition and believed that Silver had protective properties. Silver was of course also a symbol of the wealth and prosperity of a family. Solje jewelry is still very popular today, but many people are not even aware of its interesting history.
Feel free to contact me if you are interested in purchasing this piece. Questions, comments, and additional information are always appreciated.
My online shop on http://www.rubylane.com/ is coming soon.
Thank you to the following website(s) for the historical content of this blog post:
Roots Web. Retrieved 7/5/2011 from http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/NORWAY/2000-01/0948522524