Engraved jewelry and other objects: Ideas

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Idea for an engraved pen

 
It seems to me that to engrave a pen (or any other object) with one's own name is the pinnacle of self-absorption. How about something inspirational?

Sume calamum, tempera, et scribe velociter

Take your pen, observe my words, and write quickly.

These are the words of Venerable Bede that he addressed to his secretary while on his death-bed.

Engraved promise ring

 


After making a special page with a nice selection of what can be justly seen as promise ring poems I decided to dig a little deeper. Needless to say, Elizabethan English folk did not invent the art of inscribing rings to be given as pledges of love. Here is a simple inscription from an old Roman ring:

PIGNUS AMORIS HABES - "You have the pledge of love!"

The engraved emblem on the ring is probably that of a dolphin or a fish. I have to consult with my books on symbols about the meaning of this. The Christian interpretation, of course, would involve fish as a symbol of Christ.

Sure, the inscription does not rhyme or anything... Ancient Romans pretty much did not have a conception of a rhyme.

See also:
Modern promise (purity) ring: "True love waits"
What to Engrave of a Wedding Ring?
Promise rings: History and meaning
P.S. It has been confirmed that the fish-like image on this engraved ring is indeed a dolphin, in agreement with popular misconception regarding this aquatic mammal.
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To love and to cherish - David Beckham's tattoo

 
Ut Amem Et Foveam

Popularly translated as "So that I love and cherish" this line was clearly rendered into Latin by someone who hows his/her subjunctives. It is nice to know that even big time sports types understand the importance of employing educated Latinists when attempting to adorn their bodies with grayish letters. It is sad, however, that while in the past patrons used to commission great works of art and fine literature, today people of considerable wealth often reduce themselves to much less ambitious projects.

This post was, of course inspired by the "quod me nutrit" article. I am not a big fan of tattoos, face painting and toe rings. But if you gonna do it - do it right. Beckham did! Of course, most people, including celebrities, prefer to enrave such messages on their wedding rings...


Quod me nutrit me destruit (What nourishes me also destroys me) -- Angelina Jolie's Tattoo

 
Angelina Jolie tattoo

To the best of my knowledge, this motto can be found in two places: on a portrait that is believed to be of Chistopher Marlowe, and on Angelina Jolie's belly (or thereabouts). The more familiar version of this motto is Qui me alit me extinguit - Who feeds me also extinguishes me. One emblematist in particular, Paolo Giovio (Paulus Jovius) gives quod alit etc. This version, most likely taken from an English rendition of Jovius' work by Samuel Daniel, can be also find in Shakespeare. Here is the complete entry from Daniel regarding this motto:

An amorous gentleman of Milan bare in his standard a torch figured burning and turning downward, whereby the melting wax, falling in great abundance, quencheth the flame; with this posy thereunto: Quod me alit me extinguit, alluding to a Lady whose beauty did foster his love and whose disdain did endamage his life.
The choice of a motto slightly varying in its wording (as found above or below, whichever the case may be) must be attributed to the desire to be original. At any rate, I would just like to note that in the same book there is another story with similar connotations:

A certain Gentleman having espoused a noble and virtuous wife, caused her to wear for her Impresa a Snail closed in here shell, as she remaineth all the winter, to defend her from the cold, with this posy, Proprio alitur succo: to signify that she should satisfie herself with the love of her own husband, even as the snail is nourished with her own moisture.

Proprio alitur succo - nourished with her own moisture. Pretty weird and disturbing in its own way... Anyway, just a thought, in case Angelina ever desires to tie the knot. This tattoo would go well with the one that she has. I will refrain from recommendations as to the placing of this motto on her ever so valuable real estate.

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