Vintage 1950s / 60’s Scottish Plume with lucky horseshoe
Charms were once widely used in Scotland. Often, unusual materials and shapes, or in the case of written charms, quasi-religious wording, gave them their special nature. I believe these plumes to be of that nature offering protection and luck. The beautiful plume sits mounted in a thistle when a little jewel mounted on top.
No one knows for certain how the purple-flowered thistle rose to such lofty significance. But one legend has it a sleeping party of Scots warriors were saved from ambush by an invading Norse army when one of the enemies trod on the spiky plant. His anguished cry roused the slumbering warriors who duly vanquished the invader and adopted the thistle as their national symbol.
The thistle has been an important symbol of Scottish heraldry for over 500 years. It also represents one of the highest honours the country can give an individual. Founded by James III in 1687, the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is an order of chivalry which is bestowed to those who have made an outstanding contribution to the life of Scotland and the greater United Kingdom. HM The Queen alone invests those in the Order of the Thistle which is second only to the Most Noble Order of the Garter in precedence.