It's All in the Eyes

Lladró has long been drawn to the eyes. When you look into the eyes be it a sculptural piece or another human, you immediately feel an array of differing feelings and thoughts towards that person.  As a result of this it is often said that the eyes are the window to the soul. In the realm of jewellery, where each piece holds its own tale of tradition, symbolism, and sentiment, two distinct motifs stand out with their captivating allure: the Lover's Eye and the Evil Eye. While seemingly dissimilar in their  origin and purpose, both these symbolic representations possess a captivating narrative. The Lover's Eye, a discreet yet profound declaration of love, found its height of popularity during the Georgian era, shrouded in mystery and intrigue. In contrast, the Evil Eye, an ancient emblem steeped in superstition and folklore, carries the weight of centuries-old beliefs in its role as a protector against malevolent forces.

Lovers' Eye

Lladró's The Lover's Eyes Vase

Let's journey back to the early 19th century. Queen Victoria of Great Britain, was reigning at this time. The Queen had an unrelenting fascination with eyes being depicted in artworks. So much so, that she even commissioned her royal miniaturist, Sir William Charles Ross, to paint an abundance of lover’s eyes. She would utilize her lover's eye pieces as presentation pieces or even gifts to other nobles, in an attempt to revive the dying trend.

What was the trend? You ask.  Well…during the late 18th to early 19th century, a peculiar trend swept through the aristocratic circles of Europe: the exchange of lover's eye jewelry. This trend, which originated in Georgian England, saw individuals commissioning miniature portraits of their lover’s eye, often embellished with precious gems and framed in ornate settings. These miniature eye portraits,  commonly worn as brooches, pendants, or rings, held a mysterious allure-the identity of the depicted lover remained a closely guarded secret, known only to the wearer.

The symbolism behind lover's eye jewelry was as intriguing as its enigmatic presentation. It served as a token of intimacy and exclusivity, a private symbol of devotion shared between two individuals amidst the public gaze of elite society. The eyes, often depicted with a tender gaze or a hint of melancholy, conveyed a depth of emotion that transcended verbal expression. However, looking beyond its romantic connotations, the anonymity of the depicted eye sparked curiosity and speculation, fueling rumors and gossip within elite social circles. Who was the mysterious lover behind the eye? Was it a forbidden love, or perhaps even a secret engagement?... I suppose we will never know. 

Evil Eye

Although the evil eye originated from ancient Greece, this emblem of protection is still very much present in modern day Greece. More common than ever, it has become a must have jewelry staple in households globally. You can find the most authentic evil eye charms in the bustling souvenir stores located in Athens or travel approximately 18 hours east to Turkey to find them in the vibrant markets stalls in the region of Anatolia. The evil eye emerges from the depths of ancient superstition and folklore, embodying a natural instinct for protection against undetectable malevolent forces.

The concept of the evil eye revolves around the idea of a malicious gaze from another human capable of inflicting harm or misfortune upon its unsuspecting prey. The evil eye symbol, often depicted as a glaring eye surrounded by concentric circles or geometric patterns, serves as a talisman against the perceived threat of malevolent glances. It is believed that wearing or displaying the evil eye emblem wards off negative energy directed towards the wearer, offering a shield of protection in an unpredictable world brimming with unseen dangers. This is the premise of which Lladró's Cat in Love Pendant’ was created. 



Lladró's the Cat in Love Pendant

Lladró cleverly  combines the evil eye with an additional heart motif to serve a dual purpose. This unique design has been done intentionally. The evil eye transforms into a potent symbol of love and luck, offering its wearer not only protection against harm but also blessings of love and good fortune. This fusion of symbolism cultivates a sense of positivity and security, reinforcing the belief in the power of intention and the interconnectedness of human emotions and energies. Wearing this piece, nothing but absolute positivity is bound to come your way!

In a broader perspective, the depiction of the eyes in art are integral to unravelling the oppressed narrative and emotions concealed by the material of which the subject is formed. The eyes are a window to the soul, and the ability to capture the life or story within them is one of the most challenging feats to undertake. To gain an insight into the world of eyes in the realm of art, read this article.

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