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Ex Fide Fortis

Large paste intaglio with all the symbolism!

Imagery of a swan and a bear flanking a crowned shield, above a banner inscribed with the Latin ex fide fortis (out of strong faith, or from faith comes strength)

Excellent antique condition with minimal surface wear

Why we love it

The detail on this intaglio is the kind of skin prickling with excitement exceptional.

This intaglio packs a hell of a punch. There’s a lot going on. A LOT!

The swan is believed to bring good luck, with the chained swan being associated with the de Bohun, or Bucks swan, the medieaval heraldic badges of the Earls of Hereford and Earls of Essex. The bear speaks of strength and personal fitness and prowess. As an aside, bears were muzzled in UK heraldry to reflect the lack of wild animals in the country.

Already a powerhouse of an intaglio, this is further ramped up with the symbolism within the shield.

The lions depict courage, royalty, strength, loyalty, steadfastness. A lion rampant (rearing) indicates someone who is prepared not just for battle but for life. Who faces challenges head on. The lion passant (walking) further symbolises generosity of both wealth and spirit. The birds, possibly the mythical martlet, denote constant effort and striving.

And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s a motto in Latin reminding us strength comes from faith.

Definitely not for the timerous, this intaglio is daring, intrepid and distinct. A reminder to wring every moment from life.

Wear it if you dare!

Flown away home.