Posted on Mar 13, 2015 in All Blog Posts, Bridal, Holidays and Celebrations, Lace

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face;

the rains fall soft upon your fields

and until we meet again,

may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

 Gaelic blessing

The following wedding handkerchiefs of Limerick lace are beautifully executed and contain symbols associated with Ireland, including the harp and the shamrock. For those wondering about the meaning of the symbols, the shamrock was discussed in the previous blog, but since Irishmen are known to repeat themselves, particularly if the yarn is a good one, here goes:

Lush and green, simple and unadorned, this three petaedl clover is known as the symbol of Ireland. Reputed to have mystic powers, the shamrock’s petals have been known to stand upright to warn of an approaching storm.  In Celtic lore, the shamrock was used as a charm to ward off evil, thus its reputation for “good luck” was born, and continues today.  

This linen hankie is bordered by a plethora of shamrocks, certain to bring the bride good luck!


Note how the three leaf clover is encased in the outline of a four leaf clover – exceptionally good luck is wished on the bride.


Formal and intricate, this handkerchief has an Irish Harp adorning all four corners, as well as shamrocks intertwined throughout, and the initials “HB” embroidered in the center.



Irish Harp and clovers





Irish Harp

Ancient Legend says that the Gods gave the harpist music that could make men weep, music that brought joy, and music that lulled men to sleep. Thus, Celtic harps became known as the dispensers of sorrow, happiness, and rest.

Until the end of the Middle Ages the Gaelic harp was the highest status musical instrument of both Scotland and Ireland, and harpists were amongst the most prestigious cultural figures amongst Irish and Scottish kings and chiefs.

In the 16th century, King Henry VIII of England made the harp the official symbol of his new land by putting it on Ireland’s currency.  The harp appears on the coat of arms of Ireland as well as the flag of the Irish President. An image of a harp was even registered as the Guinness trademark in 1862.


This silk souvenir handkerchief depicting famous sites has, not surprisingly, an Irish harp anchoring one corner, across from the ever popular Celtic cross.


This intricate beauty also contains the Irish harp and shamrocks intertwined with delicate flowers. Lucky indeed the bride who received this as a gift on her wedding day. This is most assuredly an Heirloom to be passed down to future generations.

Because the Irish will find any excuse to raise a pint to toast the happy couple, there is much sentimentality along with a few words of wisdom dispensed at an Irish wedding, including:

May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.


May you get all your wishes but one, so you’ll always have something to strive for.


If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, then you’re lucky enough.


No man ever wore a scarf as warm as his daughter’s arms around his neck.


You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your father was.


And for the new home, a special blessing:

God bless the corners of this house
And be the lintel blessed.
Bless the hearth, the table too
And bless each place of rest.
Bless each door that opens wide
To stranger, kith and kin;
Bless each shining window-pane
That lets the sunshine in.
Bless the roof-tree up above
Bless every solid wall.
The peace of Man, the peace of love,
The peace of God on all.


Ireland was a place for the renewal of hope and I still see it like that.

Daniel Day-Lewis



One Comment

  1. 10-18-2013

    As a hankie dealer and collector, with all the hundreds and hundreds I’ve had over the years, it does amaze me when I see one of yours that I never saw before. Great site!!!!! Sharon

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