Timeless Symbolism

Hourglasses are meaningful to me, and collectible because of their combined historical and practical value. My first hourglass was silver and gilded, used by priests to time their sermons. I found it in a dingy pawn shop close to Las Ramblas in Barcelona. Some glasses measured up to two hours, used at a time when church pews were designed by the Inquisition to torture the human back. Ship’s hourglasses were calibrated to the half hours of the ship’s watch, and if the helmsman didn’t turn the glass too early it actually doubled in defining longitude. Navigators tried to keep count of the hours; the galleons wrecked on the Western Australian reefs remind us of the perils of incorrectly kept time. To appreciate the important symbolism of the hourglass observe Renaissance still-life paintings, also called Vanitas, filled with symbolism and morals. They often depict hourglasses.

Hourglasses are collectible because of their combined historical and practical value.

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~ by authenticmodels on January 27, 2011.

2 Responses to “Timeless Symbolism”

  1. Interesting blog, just found you by chance and learned already a few things on hourglasses. Since I recently rebranded would you be so kind to change my blog name in your list: here is the new link
    http://brillanteinteriors.blogspot.com
    Thank you so much,
    Albarosa

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