I just bought these….

but I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them yet.  They are heraldic dolphins.  I bought them from Etsy seller ParadiseFindings for about $8.

Why the heraldic dolphins?

Matt and I love going to botanical gardens on our vacations.  While our favorites tend to be Chinese or Japanese gardens, we like them all.  Matt’s really into photographing them, while I’m all about the design, and stealing ideas for our own future digs.  I’d studied quite a bit of the history and design of gardens as an Art History major, which I did at Scripps College through the Claremont Colleges degree exchange program.  Matt also visited many botanical gardens on his cross-country move from Boston to Seattle.

Many of the gardens we’ve visited over the years have featured neo-classical fountains or sculptures of weird sea creatures that look kind of like bullhead fish.  They’re actually the so-called heraldic dolphins.  These dolphins were used in sculpture, fountains, and most importantly, as symbols on coats of armor.  According to Armorial Gold, a heraldry symbolism library,

“In the times of heraldry the Dolphin was known as the king of fish. It is said that those who used it as a symbol had a fondness for music and that the emblem was one of charity and affection towards children and kindred. Often referred to as “The Sailor’s Friend”, Dolphins were judged from ancient times to be intelligent, skilful and devoted to saving lives. Romans used the Dolphin to signify the soul’s journey across the sea of death to the Blessed Isles. The Christians began to use the image of the Dolphin as a specific symbol of Christ, the ‘guide’ of souls across the waters of death. The Dolphin was associated with many mythological gods including Eros (shown riding a Dolphin), Aphrodite (as well, riding a Dolphin), and Taras of Tarentum (shown on a Dolphin). Greek mythology abounds with tales revolving around the Dolphin, man’s guiding light of the sea. The Dauphin of France used the Dolphin as his icon to represent protection for his fleet and salvation for his country.”

We’ve ended up with a fairly substantial collection of photographs of these little guys.  We always keep an eye open for them when we travel, and one will feature in the wedding logo/crest that we’re designing.

Another maybe wedding item I purchased recently is this necklace, from Etsy seller InmostLight.

I’m not convinced I’ll wear it for the actual wedding day, but I can see it coming out for the rehearsal dinner or something.

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