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Legacy Stained Glass Pattern Company

The Symbolic Meanings Behind the Motifs Used in Stained Glass Work
Each of the motifs below have been made into digital resizable stained glass patterns.
All Legacy patterns authentic antique stained glass designs.
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Symbolism 

 

 

 

 

Throughout the ages art has been used as a venue to communicate, record and relay cultural values and history. 

Stained glass work exhibited an array of motifs, which maintained popularity through out various periods and venues for artistic expression. Much of the symbolism revolves around themes of life, love, religion and power.

Acorns & Oak Leaves
The popularity of this motif peaked during patriotic periods. Acorns & oak leaves were also used as Heraldic emblems.

Bell
Bells are a symbol of a joyous occasion.

Candle
The candle is a symbol of Christ.
The wax being is His flesh, the wick is His soul, and the light of the candle, His divinity.

Candlestick
A lit candlestick or burning lamp represents active devotion, watchfulness and prayer.

Circle
The never ending circle symbolizes eternity.

Crown
A crown is a symbol of power and denotes the 
rank of the owner. Crown motifs are also associated with eternity and fidelity. 

Dragon
As trade with the orient spread, there was a marked oriental influence in the art of other cultures. In China 
the dragon is a divine mythical creature, a symbol of prosperity and good fortune.

Fish
The fish is associated with Jesus Christ and the ancient Christian ritual of Baptism.

Fleur-de-lys
In its heraldic form, the fleur- de- lys is an iris, 
which became associated with royalty, especially 
in the High Middle Ages.

Heart
The heart symbol, as we know it today, was popularized by the Victorian era over a hundred years ago. The heart represents all love including divine love.

Lily 
The lily is associated with purity and innocence.

Peacock
  In medieval times the peacock  represented a kingly or knightly demeanor. It is also associated with vanity, luxury and eternal life.

Pineapple
The pineapple is a symbol for hospitality.

Rose
The rose is a symbol of mystic vision, beauty, joy and courtly love in the Middle Ages. The Tudor kings of England used the rose as their national emblem.

Shield
In medieval times the coat of arms was used by knights as an emblem of identity. After it lost its significance in warfare, it became a way of recording and displaying family lineage and membership in the aristocracy.

Ship
The ship stands for hope, marriage and prosperity. A ship also symbolizes the soul's voyage to a safe haven.

Stars
The eight-point star is the emblem of Bethlehem; the six-point star is a Jewish symbol, and the five point star announces the birth of Christ.

 Swan
The symbolism of the swan embodies love, purity, and chance. Because the swan was believed to sing calmly and sweetly as it was dying, it also represents an ending or comforted death. 

Tulip
The tulip is one of the most popular motifs used in antique stained glass. It symbolizes perfect love as well as the Holy Trinity.

Wreath
The wreath,  often made from evergreen branches and used  as holiday decoration is a symbol for eternity.

 

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