This "Pirate's Toothpick" once sailed aboard the proud Spanish 1715 Fleet
The original artifact from which this toothpick was cast is made of 22 KT gold! Spanish aristocracy sailing aboard the treasure galleons used this little tool to clean their finger nails and pick their teeth… hopefully not in that order! They were custom-made for each individual, and they have unique designs requested by the user.
The lion toothpick was recovered from the Atocha off Key West, Florida, and the cupid toothpick was recovered by Robert’s treasure diving buddy and mentor, Captain Carl Fismer from the 1715 Treasure Fleet off Vero Beach, Florida. Both originals have been displayed in Mel Fisher’s museums.
Today we affectionately call these amazing artifacts “Pirates Tooth Picks” and they can serve the same purpose they originally did… or they can be worn by a lady or gentleman adventurer as a single pendant, or added to a chain to compliment another pendant. The late Duke Long, one of Robert’s old treasure diving friends and mentors, and a jewelry artist himself, added a “Pirates Tooth Pick” to one of Robert’s first Spanish treasure coins. And, Robert hasn’t worn it since he proposed to April and she commandeered it!
The Spanish Cupid "Pirate Toothpick" Pendant
Size: 1/4" Across, 1 3/4" Tall
Original Artifact Date: circa 1700
Metal: Shipwreck Silver -click here to learn more about our blend of 4 shipwreck's silver treasure that is in this pendant
Description: This toothpick is adorned with a blindfolded cupid - the classic mythological embodiment of love! In classical mythology, it is not uncommon to see the Romans reinterpret Greek art and mythology. And thus we get Cupid (“desire”), the representation of the Greek god Eros (“attraction”). During the Greek Hellenistic period (the years following Alexander the Great’s death in 323 BC), Eros acquired the bow and arrow. The source of his power, someone who is struck by the arrow is said to be filled with irrepressible desire. Over the centuries, Cupid’s popularity grew and by the Middle Ages, and the rise of Christianity, he was often portrayed in a dual nature of Earthy and Heavenly love. Here, the Spanish have used this universal symbol of love!
This Pirate's Toothpick is cast with our exclusive blend of shipwreck silver from four shipwrecks: Atocha - 1622, the 1715 Fleet, Le Chameu - 1725 and Santa Leocadia - 1800. To read about how we blend our authentic shipwreck silver, where the treasure came from, and the history of these shipwrecks, check out Robert's Blog "Shipwreck Silver - the Story Behind the Story."
Of Special Note: Our exclusive Empires Collection features Museum-Quality Castings that are produced by hand, in the USA, and to exacting standards, creating jewelry pieces that are amazingly faithful to the original artifact. Each is hand-finished here in the studio - toned, hand-rubbed and polished - making the best of ancient art affordable and wearable for a life-time.
More on Cupid... and Valentine's Day!
So what does Cupid have to do with Valentine’s Day? Sometimes called St. Valentine’s Day, the romantic event we celebrate on February 14th, ironically, comes from a martyrdom story originating also in Rome about Saint Valentine of Rome. It is a day of feast in Western Christianity honoring this early saint.
According to legend, St. Valentine was imprisoned for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire. While in prison, he is reported to have restored sight to the blind daughter of his judge. Rosemary Ellen Guiley in her The Encyclopedia of Saints, writes “On the morning of his execution, he supposedly sent a farewell message to the jailer's daughter, signed ‘from your Valentine.’ His body was buried on the Flaminian Way in Rome, and his relics were taken to the church of St. Praxedes.”
He was executed on February 14th, 269 AD.
During the 14th century, February 14th seems to have become associated with romantic love within the sphere of Geoffrey Chaucer (The Canterbury Tales) when “courtly love” flourished. Courtly love being a medieval European literary formation of love that exemplified chivalry and nobility.
And of course, there’s nothing like a little prose from “The Bard”
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath love's mind of any judgment taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheeded haste.
And therefore is love said to be a child
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.
Shakespeare, Mid Summer Nights Dream
Your Empires Collection Pendant Comes Complete with:
- A Detailed, Two Page Historic Brief Researched and Written by Robert Lewis Knecht
- A 20" Black Leather Necklace with 2" Extender
- A Linen Gift Pouch
- A Treasure Jewelry Care Card
For our Collection of Chains for Men and Woman Click Here>