Crosses and Crowns -- Dress Up in Your Sunday Best

Cross paths with us with positive energy and cheer.

The Guild Shop is a ministry of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church.  Often in our amazing jewelry cases, shoppers can find a fantastic selection of crosses of all shapes, styles and sizes.  Celtic cross, Jerusalem cross, Coptic cross, Armenian cross, Wayside cross and the Crucifix are all available at some point in our cases. I’m sure that each piece has a story from its owner as well as from the maker. They are mixed in with many other beautiful pieces of jewelry in our cases. 

My favorite cross that I bought from The Guild Shop was a silver cross from Austria with an Edelweiss.  The Edelweiss represents purity and strength and given to a loved one it is a promise of dedication.  Can you hear Captain von Trapp signing this song…”small and white, clean and bright, You look happy to meet me.” The cross is a dedication to Christian faith, no matter what denomination. 

The crosses in this photo are all so different.  With gems, gold, stones and then some are different metals.  I’ve seen a beautiful necklace created by a New Mexico designer that had about ten different crosses on a chain, similar to a charm bracelet.  Perhaps this will be my summer treasure hunt to create something similar.

The mirrored tray in this photo is perfect for displaying so many items in your home.  I love it with jewelry, but I also think it would be beautiful with trinket boxes or even something in which you would like to see the reflection of the interior, like a beautiful lined hat or sea shell with a pattern on the interior.  Mirrored trays reflect light and give whatever you place on it a glow.   I love how it sets of this “flower bucket” vintage hat, most likely from the late 50s or early 60s, made of beautiful shades of blue silk.

Church Crowns

Vintage hats are one of my favorite items to collect, but I do find it frustrating as I have a big head and often vintage hats don’t fit at all.  But I still love finding more information about the maker and understand where it fit in the history of fashion.  I would love to find a vintage Mildred Blount or Philip Treacy hat.  Hats from my own collection, all found in vintage stores, are a Dior turban from the 60s, found in Paris, an Elsa Schiaparelli rattan hat found in Round Top, and a beautiful hat introduced to me as a Church Crown found in New Orleans.

The same month that I found my hat in New Orleans, my kids and I visited New York and we visited the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem for a worship service full of song and praise.  We not only were filled with amazing Gospel music, but also the beauty of women and their hats.  Inspired by this visit, I bought a book called Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats written by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry (2000), telling the stories of African American women and their hats.  I wish we could have seen the 2002, an off-Broadway play, directed by Regina Taylor, premiered with the same title.  I love seeing women in milliner fashioned hats as I think it inspires a certain confidence and zest for life. 

Vintage Glory

The Guild Shop is lucky to sometimes receive some vintage hats and they are displayed in our cases near the front register.  They come from different decades and different styles.  You will have to come often to catch a glimpse of these beautiful treasures as these beauties are a bit scarce.

May you find your treasure,


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