These sterling silver enamelled travel shield charms
were popular with European, British and American travelers in the
1940's, 1950's 1960's, 1970's, and are highly collectible items today.
The colorful vintage / retro look is very appealing to collectors
and are quite the conversation piece. Some have a vintage patina and
some look like they are brand new even if they are over 50 or 60 years
old. They are wearable postcards and miniature works of art.
Women documented their travels by collecting a souvenir shield charm
depicting the town or country coat of arms crest, a scenic picture
of the area, castles, a famous landmark (Eiffel Tower), building (White
House), person from history (Mozart) or an event (Olympics). These
charms were often given to women as gifts from their men who were
Gondola at Rialto Bridge
Venezia, Italy - Gondola Information
A gòndola is a traditional Venetian sculling boat.
Gondolas were for centuries the chief means of transportation within
Venice and still have a role in public transport, serving as traghètti
(ferries) over major canals.
The gondola is propelled by an
oarsman (the gondolier) who stands facing the bow and pushes, rather
than pulls, a single oar. Contrary to popular belief the gondola is
never poled, as the waters of Venice are too deep. A gondola for
passengers may have a small open cabin, for their protection against
sun or rain. A sumptuary law of Venice required that gondolas should be
painted black, and they are customarily so painted now.
A gondolier, under Venetian law, must have been born in Venice to practice this profession.
is estimated that there were several thousand gondolas during the 18th
century. There are a few hundred today, most of which are for hire by
tourists, while a few serve as traghetti or are in private ownership
The construction of the gondola has continued to evolve
until the late 19th century, when motorized boats began to replace
gondolas in Venice. A gondola is long and narrow, with an asymmetrical
outline to facilitate propulsion with a single oar, and a good deal of
rocker (lengthwise curvature) to minimise the area of contact with the
water. The oar or rèmo is held in an oar lock known as a fòrcola. The
forcola is of a complicated shape, allowing several positions of the
oar for slow forward rowing, powerful forward rowing, turning, slowing
down and rowing backwards. The iron ornament on the front of the boat
is called the fèrro. It serves to protect the prow from accidental
damage, as decoration and as counterweight for the gondolier standing
near the stern.
Gondolas are hand made using 8 different types
of wood (fir, oak, cherry, walnut, elm, mahogany, larch and lime) and
are composed of 280 pieces. The oars are made of beech wood and the
left side of the gondola is made longer than the right side to
counterbalance the weight of the gondolier.
Venetian tradition dictates that couples must kiss under every bridge for Eternal Love.