The Green Man

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 50px; line-height: 40px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>As my Diva Guides and I shop all over Europe, we see a few consistent themes in antiques that span various countries and time periods – one recurring face that’s seen all over the antique world is the mythological “Green Man” which appears as sculpture, in drawings or as a representation on certain furniture pieces.

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The Green Man is usually depicted as a human-like face surrounded by or incorporating leaves, branches and vines. On rare occasions you may see a Green Woman or a Green Lion, but it is most often a male face and sometimes there is a body as well, also made of vegetation. Some representations will have a head completely covered in leaves while others depict a man’s head simply spewing vegetation from its mouth. Still others will have a more stylized head made up of vegetation such as leaves as eyebrows and vines as a beard.

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In some cultures the Green Man is thought to be a symbol of rebirth, nodding to the cycle of growth each spring. Other cultures view the Green Man as a deity, being lord over vegetation. Either way, he is a figure that has remained constant in several different cultures throughout the ages.

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The Green Man can be spotted in architecture from all over the world. Sometimes he is incorporated into a plaster ceiling while other times he is cast in brass and made into a door knocker. From secular buildings to religious places, the Green Man is a decorative element that crosses lines of class and religion. While it may seem strange that this “deity like” symbol would be seen in Christian churches, one must realize that early missionaries would sometimes incorporate local gods into architecture so they wouldn’t alienate new converts.

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Regardless of the origins, the Green Man is most definitely still a familiar symbol in antiques and architecture. The next time you’re out and about, try to spot one of these leafy faces!

Happy Hunting!

The Antiques Diva®

Diva-scovery: Rugen Island

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>For my husband’s birthday in May we decided we needed to “get away from it all” but unfortunately we were both swamped with work at the time, barely having time to breath, and we simply couldn’t manage more than a weekend away. Looking for someplace nearby our home in Germany we googled the phrase “2 ½ hours from Berlin” and were intrigued by Rugen Island! Friday evening we hopped in the car and began driving north to our destination and by the time we returned home Sunday we felt we’d been gone a week. Two days on Rugen Island was just what the doctor ordered!

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In Germany, the beaches are beautifully maintained. Part of local beach culture involves renting not a lawn-chair and umbrella nor simply bringing your own towel to lay on, but instead renting a seat for the day in a “Strandkorb” – a roofed wicker beach chair.

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to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TDnVnHo771I/AAAAAAAAE-M/S3weWSRKASE/s400/Rugen+Island+Germany.JPG” border=”0″ />This building reminded me of the German-equivalent to South Beach, but most of the architecture had a more German feel.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TDnVmUtEVWI/AAAAAAAAE98/Hf8TKZ3bAjU/s400/Rugen+Island+(2).JPG” border=”0″ />All in all, it was the perfect weekend away, warranting this secluded spot in the Baltics as my Diva-scovery de Jour!

Until Next Time, Happy Reading!

The Antiques Diva™