Today we received in a shipment of our handcrafted Compass Rose Copper Wall Hanging, prompting me to muse over how popular this piece has been over the years. The artisan had included a friendly little note in the package reminding me that we first started selling her nautical inspired treasures over 7 years ago. To this day, the Compass Rose remains an enduring nautical accent piece, whether it's hanging on the walls of a lake house or adorning an office, inspiring the occupant with reminders of more enjoyable days seaside.
Having appeared on charts and maps since the 1300's, this device was originally used to indicate wind directions and was called a "wind rose" with 32 points as simple bisections of the directions of the four winds. There was no standard for drafting the rose, which is why we can enjoy so many stunning renditions of it. Often a Fleur de Lys is used to indicate north, and common colors were red, blue, black, and green - which for the times, were the easiest to distinguish in low light from oil lamps and candles.
Today the Compass Rose recalls of seafaring adventure, hearty sailors (yo ho ho!), maps on aged parchment, tall ships with wind in their sails, and long voyages to distant lands just waiting to be discovered. It is the quintessential symbol of navigating the ocean and life, if you really think about it. A device to keep you on course, while propelling you further toward the unknown.
Appearing everywhere from clothing, jewelry, quilting patterns...even Captain Marvel. Our wall piece reflects a beautiful hand-etched rendition, with a famous quote from Oliver W. Holmes:
"The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving -We must sail sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it - But we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor."