With Halloween around the corner, I thought this would be the perfect time for a post featuring black cat jewelry. I have to confess that I’m not a huge fan of Halloween myself; I actually think it’s kind of creepy (I know that’s the point, but I still don’t like it). But I do love cats!
Cats as symbols have a long history, as long as civilization itself. Through the ages, there have been many powers attributed to them – they have been considered good and evil, gods and witches, healers and bringers of disease, and some of the things that were done to them are too horrible to even think about (Google “France cat burning” and you’ll see). Black cats in particular were and are viewed with suspicion – we all know that a black cat crossing the street in front of you is supposed to be bad luck, and even to this day, rescued black cats are only half as likely to find new homes as their white, calico, gray, etc. siblings.
But, fortunately, they have also been considered good luck. In ancient Egypt, the cat Bastet was a goddess of love and protection; killing a cat was a crime that brought a death sentence, and many cats were mummified and buried in coffins, just like humans (archeologists found a cemetery in the city of Bubastis with over 300,000 cats in it!).
In England they were thought to bring fisherman back safely from the sea, and sailors believed that a black cat on the ship kept storms at bay. Receiving a black cat as a wedding gift is good luck, and there is an English proverb that goes “Whenever the cat of the house is black, the lasses of lovers will have no lack”.
And in Japan, Maneki Nekos, very popular cat figurines that come in all kinds of materials, shapes, sizes and colors (including black), are believed to bring good luck and protection to their owner.
As I mentioned above, I personally love cats, and certainly think they are good luck, whether black or any other color. And their grace, beauty and air of mystique have always made them perfect models for artists of all disciplines, including jewelry. Here are some of my favorite recent cat charm and pendant finds:
1. Porcelain Maneki Neko good luck charm from Dandan Designs
2. Black polymer clay kitten with Czech crystal rhinestone eyes by Gabiscuits
3. Scrimshaw (pre-ban) ivory pendant with a hand-etched cat portrait by Linda Layden
4.Sterling silver and crystal two cats charmfrom AME Jewelers
5. Antique Czech glass cat charm with rhinestone eyes and a brass collar from Thistle & Bess
6. Playing black cat charm necklace from Trost Jewelry
7. Black cat resin charm necklace by Jessica Meyer of Treasured Charms
8. Enamelled metal playing cat charm from N2
9. Black enamelled sterling silver clip-on cat charm with a freshwater pearl from Thomas Sabo
10. Vintage (1960s) Wells sterling silver and black enamel cat charm from Princess Charming (Ruby Lane)