We are nearing Easter, which originally was a celebration of Eostre, pagan Goddess of spring. Bede's 8th century writings describes the Ēostur-monath, which was the Anglo Saxon equivalent to the month of April, and that feasts were held in her honour.
The egg has a long tradition as as symbol of birth and fertility and has been adopted into creation myths from Babylonian times onwards and the Christians adopted the egg as a symbol of resurrection. An exciting discovery of patterned ostrich egg shells indicates that eggs were possibly used as symbols as far back as 60,000 years ago.
Enigmatic patterned ostrich shells found in Africa.
At Grays we scoured our shelves to find ovoid shapes to fuel the Easter imagination.
Beautiful egg shaped silver jewellery box, made in Chester, 1909, offered by Evonne Antiques
An antique red and white overlay glass egg-shaped box, containing four Palais Royal scent bottles, all in fine ormolu mounts, France,19th century, offered by Alexia Amato
A very pretty vintage goldtone compact decorated with flowers, 20th century, offered by MGN Collectables
A rare 18th century Japanese five colour Imari box and cover, offered by Anita Gray
A magnificent pair of ovoid shaped Italian Palermo Maiolica pharmacy jars. Boldly painted in shades of black, yellow and grey, with military trophies, including a coat of arms, all on a blue ground, reserved with a cartouche within a gadrooned frame, one depicting a lady with a laurel branch, the other depicting Christ bearing a cross, ca 1600, offered by Anita Gray
Meissen ovoid vase and cover on three legs, painted with bouquets of flowers within three cartouches on a rich cobalt blue and gold ground, circa 1880, offered by K and M Antiques
An unusal rotating Minton Oyster Stand, ca 1870, offered by Britannia
Lovely rock crystal slide showing double flaming hearts surrounded by two angels and flowers, out of pressed gold, on a platted hair background with gold wire cypher. Circa 1680 – 1700, offered by Charlotte Sayers