Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Fleur-de-Lis

I just love fleurs-de-lis, 
so I thought I would do a little research 
 and share it with you.

The fleur-de-lis (or fleur-de-lys; plural: fleurs-de-lisFrench pronunciation: 
 [flœʁ də lis][1]) is a stylized lily (in French, fleur means flower, and lis means lily)
or iris that is used as a decorative design or symbol. It may be "at one and the same
time, political, dynastic, artistic, emblematic, and symbolic",
especially in heraldry.    ~ from Wikipedia

fleur-de-lis ~ French for Flower of the Lily 

The fleur-de-lis, depicting the stylized lily, has many meanings. 
Traditionally, it has been used to represent French Royalty,
and it is said to signify perfection, light, and life.

The fleur-de-lis is common to all eras and civilizations,
and there seems to be some debate as to its origin.
Although its most probable origin is from the lilies on the banks of the Lys River in
France, where well-known lilies, having only three leaves, called fleur de l'iris by the
French, called the flower of the rainbow or iridis, which the French call fleur-de-lis.

The fleur-de-lis has appeared on Mesopotamian cylinders, Egyptian base-reliefs,
Mycenean potteries, Sassanid textiles, Gaulish coins, Mameluck coins, 
Indonesian clothes, Japanese emblems and Dogon totems.
The earliest known examples of the fleur-de-lis can be found on Assyrian base-reliefs
from the third millenium BC. It is found on tiaras, jewelry, scepters, and on the
coin of King Louis VI of France (1110-30).

Coin from the Kingdom of France, Charles VIII (1483-1498) 








In the 12 century, the French King Louis VI or VII 
became the first French king to use the fleur-de-lis on his shield.

At the end of the 12 century, the fleur-de-lis took on a Cristic role 
representing the Holy trinity.

Joan of Arc carried a white banner that showed God blessing the French royal 
emblem, the fleur-de-lis, when she led French troops to victory over the English in 
support of the Dauphin, Charles VII, in his quest for the French throne. 

Here are a few vintage treasures found recently that
also have fleurs-de-lis.

Dominoes {but don't they look like little chocolate bars?}
Poker Chips

and some hand punched fleurs-de-lis from a vintage French book

I hope you enjoyed this little bit of history.

Have a great weekend!
If you have items with fleurs-de-lis, I would love to see them.
Thank you for taking the time to comment, I love hearing from you.

~ Julie

 Vintage Inspiration Friday, and Time Travel Thursday,  few of my favorite blog parties.

vintage items and fleur-de-lis punches are available in my etsy shop


  1. Hi Julie,
    I just LOVE the fleur de lis too! Thank you for sharing the history behind this beautiful symbol. And your fleur de Lis treasures are awesome! I especially love the dominoes!
    Have a wonderful Thursday.

  2. fun! Love Fleur de Lis.
    Fave on this post, the punched ones. Gonna have to get me one of those punches!! =)


  3. Thanks for the history lesson ... it's all new to me!

  4. I did indeed think those dominoes were chocolate until you said they weren't. Did you know that the fleur de lis turned upside down is supposed to be the Napoleonic Bee? At least, that is the story? Guess that's why I love the fleur de lis and the bee sign. Loved your post today and your blog. :) xoxo

  5. Thank you so much for sharing! Did you know that the Fleur de lis by the visible "V" stands for "Femininity=Venus"? No wonder that we love it ;)

    Enjoy the weekend

  6. I was going to say pass the chocolate! Those dominoes really looked like chocolate!

  7. Hi Julie,

    I, too, love the fleur de has a rich history..thanks so much for sharing your research. I'm visiting for French Inspiration Thursday.

    Have a wonderful day,
    Stephanie ♥

  8. One of my favorite symbols is the the fleur de lis. Thanks for sharing some information about it. Very cool!

  9. Fleur de lis are my daughter and my favorite symbol. We both will pick it on our stationary, picture frame or any given decoration. I don't know what the mystery of this is but we both have a fascination with it too. Maybe we are both Francophiles. You post is particularly fun!!!

  10. Love the f-d-l, it is so pleasing to the eye and has a sense of rightness to it:)

  11. I love it too, i have a finger tattoo with a fleur de lis.


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