Freyah Cartouche

September 2013
10 karat white gold

A client came to me for a gift for his wife on the occasion of the birth of their daughter. While they hadn't chosen an English name yet, they knew her Hebrew name would be Freyah (פרייה). I asked if either of them had any Norwegian ancestry, thinking we could combine their daughter's name with that of the Norse goddess Freyja and come up with some sort of theme. But while there are certainly Scandinavian Jews in the world, neither my client nor his wife fit that demographic.

Regardless, it got me thinking about Norse and other old northern European cultures, which got me thinking about runes. Which naturally got me thinking about First Temple Hebrew, (also known as Paleo-Hebrew), which has an extraordinarily runish look to it. We took the letters of his daughter's name in First Temple Hebrew and arranged them vertically on this gently curved cartouche. I had originally had presented the design in relief, but my client's suggestion of intaglio evokes an even more powerful sense of carved rune stones.