A few months ago we introduced a necklace and earrings called the Return of the Sun, Ancient Triple Spiral. We talked of an Ancient Celtic site in Newgrange, Ireland. Excavations in the 1960’s revealed a doorway with a mysterious horizontal opening above an entrance door.
On the shortest day of the year, at the first light of dawn, sunlight enters this window box above the door, traveling down a 60 foot hallway tunnel to a back wall, illuminating a triple spiral chiseled in stone.
The monument was clearly an ancient Celtic place of worship, the sun playing a starring role.
A few weeks after we sent the “Triple Spiral” email, I learned of Serpent Mound in Ohio. A mound of earth snaking over 1300 feet, with a curled spiral tail leading to a head that points west toward the setting summer sun on the longest day of the year.
There is conjecture and debate among archeologists as to the age (1,000 to 2,300 years old) and purpose of this Native American monument. What’s clear is that ancient civilizations had a soul-felt connection to the heavens, the solar and lunar cycles, and the stories the stars told on clear moonless nights.
Just a few of the many ancient sites with astronomical ties:
• The Great Temple of Abu Simbel in Egypt
• Giants’ Churches in Finland
• Chichen Itza & Uxmal in Mexico
• Bryn Celli Ddu in the United Kingdom
When was the last time you heard someone say, “what a cute baby snake.” For most of us it’s unthinkable. Snakes are dangerous and feared. See a snake in the wild and instantly your heart quickens and once comfortable breaths shorten to small gasps of air. Your fight or flight response immediately kicks-in.
While some snakes are venomous, part of our reaction surely has something to do with their unusual and effortless ability to slide through the grass, over leaves, and across sun baked hard-pan.
For most of us, snakes are odd, dark, and dangerous. Yet, through history they have been revered and respected. Snakes have represented eternity, fertility and the creative life force. Snakes have also been symbols of rebirth, transformation, and healing, no doubt born from their ability to shed their own skin.
What did the Native Americans living in the Midwest see in the snake? What powers did they believe the snake to possess and why does the head of the serpent point toward the setting sun on the longest day of the year?
Yes, snakes are dangerous, but perhaps they have powers that we, in modern times, cannot see. Spend time with this ring and you may come to understand long lost wisdom. At the very least we guarantee it will strike up conversations that will lead you to unexpected places.
My stepmother’s brother was a scientist, and life-long snake lover. He kept pet snakes making it difficult to find a house sitter when he traveled. He lived in Arizona, and when friends found a snake in their house or yard, they called Danny.
For fun, Danny would drive out into the desert at night, peering out into the darkness illuminated by his truck’s headlights. He was searching for snakes curled up on the warm tar roads.
He would bring family and friends on these adventures. When a snake was found, they’d get out, the passengers most likely remaining a step or two behind Danny.
He’d identify the reptile. Admire it, photograph it, then measure it and place it back on its warm resting place. Similar, I suppose, to a fisherman catching and releasing. It was the thrill of the hunt.
Danny is no longer with us, but the stories live on. I wish I could go on one of his snake safaris.
This could be either. It’s a big bold ring that can be sized from a 7.5 to an 11.5. We have included two photos, one showing the ring on a lady’s hand, the other on a man’s.
I asked both David and Carrie, staff here at Cross, to model the ring. After taking the photos I noticed that David had put the ring on with the snake facing away from him, while Carrie had the snake facing her.
I asked each of them if there was a reason for their choice. David, who has several rings with a clear top and bottom, said that he knows what the ring looks like so wears it facing out so that others can see it clearly. Carrie wanted it facing her so that she could enjoy it.
I’ve been working on a 50 foot stone wall for five years: tree stump and brush removal, big rocks excavated, small rocks stacked. It’s 2/3 completed. A stream nearby, rubber boots in a planter. I took a picture for Instagram. This is what the post said:
ralph.pride I keep the boots dry by leaving them upside down in the planter. It also helps to keep the snakes and mice out of the boots. The boots are for stream repair and maintenance. The stream is about forty feet away. #boots#stream#mice#snakes
sbcitychic There’s no snake is your boot!
The ring has been around forever in Cross’ Archival Collection. No diamond, no ruby eyes, but big rich detail. A coiled serpent, tail swirls, curls around finger. The tip of the tail marks it as a rattle snake.
We’ve added a ½ carat diamond and two Burma ruby eyes. It’s 14K Yellow Gold, diamond recessed, set in a 14K White Gold rim. Finger size is 9.75. We can go up two sizes easily or down two sizes easily. Our shop says they could re-size it down to a 6 ½ if necessary. Man’s-type ring, a woman could wear it too. It’s a big ring though. We have one, just one. If two people want it it’s the first who calls who will get it.
If you think you want it we suggest we send it to you sized as is. You check, you inspect, then you send it back and we will size. If you’re caller #2, 3, or 4 you can always go online and order a Craig Ferguson Rattle Snake Coffee Mug for $21.51
My son said it looks like an Indiana Jones ring. I agree.
Your complete and total satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. You may return your purchase for ANY reason. Simply return for a full original price credit on your credit card, no questions asked. We want you to be totally satisfied. Full 30 day return privileges on this and all your Cross purchases.
Estate jewelry represents outstanding value because we’ve gone back in time and found choice pieces, thoroughly checked and polished like new, and put a conservative price on each one
The Kirkwood Collection consists of items of jewelry from the past, brought forward in time, and available again in the 21st century. There are two parts to this intriguing collection.
The first part is antique estate jewelry spanning from 1820 – 2000. My great-grandmother Katharine Goodwin Pride, wife of horseman Walter D. Pride, is the guardian of this collection. A copy of her painting appears in the corner of every item in this antique/estate collection.
The second part of our Kirkwood Collection is composed of actual retired items of jewelry that at various times in our Cross history 25, 50, 75 years ago, have been moved from active inventory to Cross Archival reserves waiting for someday, when the moment seemed right, to make it available to Cross fans again. Connie Cross is the hostess for this archival collection of jewelry.
As in all families, any present generation has two immediate family legacies. One side of my family is Cross, the jewelry people, the other side of my family is Pride, the horse people – with stables and sleighs, buckboards and wagons, two stables, one in Westbrook, the other at Scarborough Beach with a summer seasonal inn back in the 1800s.
Virtually everything in the Cross Kirkwood Collection is a one of a kind, one item, one moment, one chance to acquire. Obviously, if three people want a particular piece, only one can have it, and once any one item is sold, it is gone forever. Constance Cross, daughter of our founder William Cross, and part owner of Cross Jewelers from 1931-1942, is guardian of this portion of our collection. Her black and white photograph appears in the corner of any item that has a Cross Archival Collection origin.
Prices are sometimes ancient, often reflective of the pieces period and era of creation, while keeping in mind the realities of contemporary gold markets. The result, often pieces that are shown and priced represent great values. On items over $500 we issue a typed appraisal showing current values. One reality check regarding insurance, though we may place a replacement value, most items simply can never be replaced at any price.
Browse to Your Heart’s Content
Feel free to browse anything in our Kirkwood Collection. Anything you may choose comes with our complete 30-day return privileges – This is your opportunity in the comfort of your home to study, inspect, try, and consider any item in this collection with the option to return anything, no questions asked. Shipping is always free anywhere USA.
Happy shopping – Ralph H. Pride, 4th generation of the Cross Jewelry Family, and 4th generation of the Pride horse people.
When my great-grandfather William opened Cross Jewelry in 1908, horses were still trotting up and down the cobblestone streets of Portland, Maine. My other great-grandfather, Walter D. Pride, still had his livery stables in Westbrook, Maine and his horse stables a seasonal summer inn, the Kirkwood, at Scarborough Beach, Maine. By 1915 Walter had given in to Henry Ford’s assembly line and the efficiency and practicality of Henry’s new Model-T automobile and closed his stables in Westbrook and Scarborough.
I grew up on a farm on a dirt road in the country. This painting reminds me of the farm. I was born in 1949, just 34 years after Walter closed his stables. The farm was less than 2 miles from Walter’s stables. Our barns had horse stalls and haylofts. Thirty-four years is just a blink of an eye in human time. So much can change in a short time. Time moves swiftly, as new ideas arise pushing out the old over the years, as eras come to a close and styles change and progress is advanced.
Keeping Things Fresh
One of our practices every year at Cross, to tidy up and keep our collection fresh, was to put a few pieces of fine jewelry away in an archival collection. Many of these pieces go back 25, 50, 75 years. Recently we sent emails of a few of these treasures and were surprised to find new homes for them within just a few hours of posting. Looking over these almost forgotten archival items and following our test emails it was clear we had a treasure trove of what might be called mint condition antique jewelry.
We will begin unveiling a few dozen of our historic antique-estate and archival jewelry treasures from time to time in a new section of our website called “The Kirkwood Archival Jewelry Collection” these items are often no longer made and no longer available anywhere in the world with prices reflecting the time and era of creation. This is not a sale, but simply jewelry at a truly good value and showing pieces that are not likely ever to be available again.
The Two Hostesses
We’re posting both antique-estate and Cross archival pieces of jewelry on our Kirkwood last chance, last opportunity portion of our website in honor of the horseman, my great grandfather, Walter D. Pride, his stables at the Kirkwood Inn. Walter’s wife, Katherine Goodwin Pride, is the hostess of the antique-estate portion of our Kirkwood Collection. Her painting appears next to each piece of antique-estate jewelry. Our founder William Cross and his daughter Connie Cross are on the Cross side of the Kirkwood ledger. Connie Cross’s black and white photo appears next to all of the Cross archival jewelry pieces…jewelry, that as time went by, often was the last one of a series, the final piece that for whatever reason hadn’t found a home. Connie Cross is the hostess of these archival pieces of jewelry.
These Cross archival pieces are like estate items that have never been worn, pieces that have been protected, preserved, and brought forward in time to present to you today. Study this Kirkwood portion of our website carefully. Everything is priced very reasonably reflecting the era, the design, the gems, and gold content. Consider these soon, time waits for no one. Everything in the Kirkwood Collection comes with our unconditional guarantee of satisfaction with full return privileges for thirty days from date of purchase.
The Lure of the 7-Mile Beach
Lacking in hard evidence – I’m speculating here, imagining, I’m traveling back 125 years to a beach I know well, let’s say this is Water D. Pride less than a mile from his Kirkwood Inn and stables on Scarborough Beach. Ferry Beach was just across from Pine Point and the 7-mile long Old Orchard Beach. It was called Ferry Beach because to cross the 300 feet of ocean water saved a five-mile detour on a trip up or down the coast. A 7-mile beach was a good long stretch of clear roadway for horseback riders and wagons. I imagine that Walter or one of his staff would meet the ferry on summer days with horses and carriages to offer transportation going north or south. The Kirkwood Inn was a convenient stopover spot to spend the night before heading up to Portland or down the coast to Old Orchard Beach, Biddeford Pool, or Ogunquit. Stables, overnight accommodations and good food were an important part of 19th century travel.
50 Cents for a Horse
I spent Sunday night with my great-grandfather Pride’s horse and buggy records and ledgers; studying the years 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898, who rented, where they went, how much was charged, .50¢ for a horse about town to $6.00 for two horses and a wagon out of town, overnight perhaps to the beach. The names of the horses in my great-grandfather’s Westbrook sables: Jim, Dolly, Ned, Nancy, Prince, Jip, Milo, Kit, Mascot, Maude, Judge, Pacer. Studying the journals, a year’s worth of horse and buggy rentals was, $2,500 to $3,300. Our family had old black and white photographs of the stables in Westbrook, Maine. The photos have since been lost. My brother Craig was a painter among other talents. These are three paintings he did from old photographs. We’ve all forgotten how complicated transportation was to get from Point A to Point B. Today it’s simply a key in the pocket to start the car. We think nothing of a 5-, 10-, 20-mile trip to anywhere. Traveling at 35, 40 50 miles per hours versus daily feeding and watering of horses, harnessing up the team and moving at 5 miles per hours or lightning fast of 10 miles per hour.
Katharine Goodwin Pride
Katharine Goodwin Pride married Walter D. Pride in the 1890s. They lived in a 3-story house with an attached barn on Sargent Street, Westbrook, Maine. The Pride stables were downtown Westbrook about 1/2 mile away. Katharine Goodwin Pride is our hostess for the Kirkwood Antique/Estate Jewelry Collection. Her painting accompanies all antique/estate jewelry in the Kirkwood Collection.
Connie Cross was the only daughter of William Cross, founder of Cross Jewelers. In 1931 she became 1/4 owner of Cross Jewelers. She met and fell in love with Leonard, a Canadian railroad man. This is Leonard’s ceremonial sword from his time in the commandery. Leonard later went on to become a colonel in the United States Army and commanded troops in South Korea during the early years of the Korean Conflict. Leonard was a consummate romantic and showered Connie with love and affection for over 50 years. Connie is the hostess of our Cross Archival Kirkwood Jewelry Collection. Her black and white photo accompanies all Cross archival pieces in this collection.
Orders Under $1,000 – Free shipping via FedEx (allow 4 business days). You can upgrade to overnight delivery for $20.
Orders Over $1,000 require a signature on delivery. You may choose free FedEx Overnight or US Post Office Express.
Rings that need to be sized take extra time (one week). If ordering a ring, you may select, “No Sizing Yet, Ship Right Away” and your order will arrive according to the shipping schedule shown above.
Curbside Pickup is also Available – please give us a call to place your order.
Orders Under $1,000 – Free shipping via FedEx (allow 4 business days). You can upgrade to overnight delivery for $20.
Orders Over $1,000 – Ship Free by your choice of FedEx Overnight or US Post Office Express. A signature is required on delivery.
Our extended ninety days, for a small business, is almost unheard of. Truth is, we shop for gifts too, and rather than scrambling at the last minute and feeling the tension of time, we like this more relaxed approach. We wish everyone did something like this… it would be a kinder, gentler world.