St Valentine's Day - hated by some, loved by others - is approaching again. Now associated with mass produced greetings cards and overpriced roses, this celebration actually has simpler roots. Popular legend tells us that there was once a Saint Valentine of Rome who was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry, and also for ministering to Christians, at that time persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to the tale, during his imprisonment he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius, and before his execution he wrote her a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell.
The day was not recognisable as it is to us now until the Middle Ages, when Geoffrey Chaucer wrote 'Parliament of Fowls' containing the first reference to “Saint Valentine’s Day” as an occasion for romance. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "Valentines").
These days the 14th of February is whatever you make it and here at Alfies we advocate love all year round! However, for those of you who still like the tradition of giving gifts, here is our pick of romantic offerings at Alfies Antique Market:
|1980s white and black diamond baguette ring, 18ct white gold, available from Pars Jewellery.|
|Victorian gold acorn earrings, offered by Gareth Brooks|
|18ct white gold earrings by "Asprey", diamond & aquamarine, offered by Gareth Brooks|
|Taittinger poster backed on linen, 46cm x 62cm, available from Dodo Posters.|
|Collection of Wedgwood candle holders from 1967, available from Robinson Antiques.|
|Gilded bronze, enamel frame, 1890-1900, available from Hayman & Hayman.|
|Christian Dior silk gown, 1950s, available from June Victor.|
|1960s 18ct gold swirl ring with 0.5 carat centre diamond, available from Pars Jewellery.|