Monday, December 14, 2009

Heart in Hand: Odd Fellows Staffs

The Heart in Hand emblem has a rich symbolic heritage in the Northeast. Traditionally, it is said to emblemize charity, or selfless action that originates in the heart: "Whatever the hand may find to do, may the heart go forth in union."

Blogger With Heart and Hands has a nice summary of the image's use in the Shaker tradition, as well as by the fraternal organization of Odd Fellows . . .

. . . which brings me to these amazing carvings, first used as ceremonial staffs for Odd Fellows gatherings. This matched pair was sold by aptly-named Odd Fellows Art and Antiques:



Check out their site for a veritable gallery of Heart-in-Hand carving, as well as other to-die-for folk art.

I like the silvery finish to this hand, offered by VanDeest Antiques:



Maybe the silver paint reminds me of the Tin Man, who only wanted a Heart.

It's rare to find these emblems for sale, but Ruby Lane seller Finish Line Collectibles offers this outstanding cast iron heart-in-hand marker:



Here's hoping we all act with with hearts in hand this holiday season.

1 comment:

Lana said...

The heart in hand is one of my favorite symbols. I'd love to happen upon an antique carving like those pictured!