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Sankta Lucia

Sankta Lucia

Born in Syracuse during the late third century, Sankta Lucia is one of the earliest Christian Saints. Martyred c. 304 for her Christian faith, Lucia’s story was carried to Scandinavia by missionaries, traders and the Vikings. 

Lucia was born into a wealthy family and had taken a vow of chastity to better serve Christ. She is credited with many brave and charitable acts, including bringing food to Christians who hid in the catacombs to escape persecution. To light her way in the dark tunnels, she wore a candlelit wreath on her head, leaving her arms and hands free to carry more supplies.

Legends hold that Lucia appeared to Swedish farmers during a great famine: a ship on Sweden's Lake Vänern was said to have carried a woman dressed in white who brought food to the starving people. This is similar to another story that, legends say, occurred in Syracuse. Both events, as well as her martyrdom, are supposed to have taken place on her feast day, December 13th.

Lucia's mother, not a Christian herself and not aware of her daughter's vow, arranged a marriage for her with a wealthy Roman man who was an unbeliever. Lucia was able to delay the marriage successfully for three years. When her mother was miraculously healed from a serious illness, she converted to Christianity and released her daughter from the marriage pledge. In revenge, the spurned bridegroom reported Lucia as a Christian to the governor of Syracuse. Knowing of her vow of chastity, the governor tried to force her into a brothel, but miraculously, his guards could not move her, even when they hitched her to a team of oxen. On the spot, the guards attempted to burn her alive, but the wood they heaped up around her would not catch fire. They then used their swords to kill her.

Lucia is remembered in Sweden each December 13th as the oldest daughter in each home enters her parent’s dark bedroom bearing saffron buns (Lussekatter) and coffee. She enters slowly, singing, wearing a white gown, symbolizing Lucia’s purity. The gown is tied with a red sash, symbolizing her martyrdom. Lucia’s head is crowned with a lingonberry wreath lit with candles representing the light and hope she brings as her brothers and sisters (also dressed in white) join her in this beautiful ancient tradition.

The Sankta Lucia Collection is the 26th in the David Oscarson series of Limited Edition Writing Instruments, Ancient symbols of Lucia are represented in the Sankta Lucia design, including her white robe and red sash on the barrel, a Roman sword for the clip and the Roman Numeral XIII at the base of the barrel. Contrasting smoke and flames are featured on the cap in guilloche and hot enamel. The lingonberry wreath and candles are depicted on the gripping section and top of the cap and a Diamond-set burst of light appears at the top of the crown.

Hard Enamel

The Sankta Lucia Collection continues in the spirit of artistic mastery and the tradition of Old World craftsmanship by combining the centuries-old technique of Guilloché with the art and expertise of Hard Enamel

Using a mortar and pestle, a composition of glass, water and metal oxides is ground for hours by hand.  When settled, the water is removed, leaving the fine paste that is the basis for hard enamel.  A quill is then used to apply each coat of the mixture to the surface of the metal, ensuring that the entire guilloché area is completely covered in enamel.  The components are then fired in a furnace at temperatures exceeding 1,000° F, fusing the enamel to the metal and forming a layer of glass.

After cooling, the pieces are manually ground with a diamond file, restoring their proper shape and surface.  This tedious process is repeated at length until the level of enamel reaches the depth required to cover the peaks and fill the valleys of each intricate guilloché pattern.  When the final stages of firing are completed, the pieces are polished and buffed, revealing the velvet finish of translucent hard enamel.

Production of translucent hard enamel demands the highest levels of patience, experience and skill.  A five-year apprenticeship is required to ensure that the highest levels of quality will be met in each individual Collection piece.  

The Sankta Lucia Collection will be produced in Translucent Black, White, Red and Green with Gold Vermeil

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