We’re more than halfway through 2019, and this year’s jewellery trends have not disappointed. With the New Year came new styles- from chunky chains to fashionable feathers- and all have been stunning. One trend that has really caught our eyes, however, is that of pig themed pieces. According to the Chinese zodiac, 2019 is in fact the year of the pig. These cute creatures have provided endless inspiration for jewellery makers; unsurprising considering their incredible history and symbolism. Read on to find out more about this unlikely inspiration.
Legend of the Zodiac
Legend has it that long ago, before the Chinese Zodiac, the Jade Emperor sought 12 animals to be his guards. This god-like figure decided to choose and rank these animals based on how quickly they could race to him at the Heavenly Gate. Twelve animals set off, and ran to the emperor with varying degrees of success! The wilful rat and obliging ox were the first to cross the finish line, while the others finished at various points and found themselves ranked between 3 and 11. Finally, when the emperor was about to give up waiting, the pig appeared. Some say he took so long because he stopped to nap, others because he could not swim across a river that appeared in front of him. Either way, as the last animal to arrive he was ranked number 12. Thus, the pig is now the 12th of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in Chinese zodiac.
Although the pig finished last in the legendary race of the zodiac, those born under this sign are by no means considered lazy. In fact, pig symbolism is quite the opposite. The pig represents hard work, generosity and reliability. It is said that those born in the year of the pig are sociable and humorous, and rather romantic too. The natural element of the pig is water, which is why the pig is commonly associated with emotions and intuitions. All in all, the pig is the embodiment of many desirable qualities. It is no surprise then, that trendsetters in 2019 have embraced the pig as their animal of choice. Animals and the natural world have always inspired artists. However there is something especially poetic about paying homage to such a symbolic (and underrated) farmyard creature.
If you want to encourage good fortune in 2019, then it is believed that you should pay respect to the animal which represents it. One way to do this is to wear jewellery that incorporates pig motifs or symbols. These not only bring good luck, but look good! They are the perfect way to honour the animal of the year, whether you have a sentimental attachment to it or if you were born in in 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947 or 1935 – previous years represented by the pig. This stunning antique Victorian brooch would be the perfect way to do this. It is full of character, and simultaneously novel yet exceptionally made. This brooch also features yellow gold, which is a subtle nod to other elements of Chinese culture. The lucky colours of 2019 include yellow and gold, which means this brooch is the perfect way to make sure this year is a good one!
If jewellery isn’t your thing, then you can pay your respects by other means. Use pig-themed interiors to bless your house- the sugar box pictured above would be a welcome addition to any home. Or, take your luck with you with an antique ‘wild boar’ vesta case- it’s pig perfection!
What do you think of the popularity of the pig? We intend to embrace this trend in 2019 and beyond, and will certainly be dipping into our piggy banks to treat ourselves to some animal inspired antiques!
Alice Wilson – Digital Assistant (Social Media)
After completing a degree in English Literature in 2018 Alice joined the AC Silver as a Digital Assistant. Alice is responsible for keeping our social media accounts fun and fresh for you all. In addition she will also entertain you on our blog with some creative posts.