At Mallards, we’re proud of our Cornish heritage, and we’re celebrating it with a new range of St Piran’s flag jewellery.
The Cross of St Piran is the official flag of Cornwall, and you see its distinctive black and white design everywhere you go in the county. Its dramatic, contrasting shades and clean lines make it the perfect pattern for smart and contemporary-style jewellery.
St Piran (sometimes Pirran, Peran or Perran) is the patron saint of tin miners. He’s sometimes referred to as the patron saint of Cornwall too; however both St Petroc and St Michael also have a claim to this title. St Piran is said to have come to Cornwall from Ireland in the fifth century. A gang of heathens tied him to a millstone and pushed him over a cliff into a rough sea. The waters immediately stilled, and St Piran floated calmly across the sea to Cornwall, where he landed at Perranzabuloe.
Like many early Celtic Christian saints, Piran lived as a hermit. His ability to perform miracles soon attracted a following, and eventually he and other Christian converts founded an abbey, Lanpiran (Cornish for Piran’s Church). He became the Abbot, and lived to be 206. His greatest contribution to Cornwall, at least in legend, was that he discovered the lost art of tin smelting.
This is from where Cornwall gets its distinctive black and white flag. St Piran’s black hearthstone leaked a white liquid, which is said to have risen to the surface in the shape of a cross. St Piran had serendipitously rediscovered tin smelting. The flag of St Piran represents the pure tin rising from the dark ore – or good overcoming evil.
St Piran’s flag is flown proudly across Cornwall, and the symbol is seen everywhere: T-shirts, car bumper stickers, on local produce… It’s a great subject for jewellery, worn proudly by Cornish men and women, or bought as a souvenir of a great holiday by visitors to the county.
We decide to make “his and hers” Cornish jewellery, with an elegant oval-shaped pendant and a smart pair of cufflinks. For occasions such as weddings, Cornish men will quite often don a Cornish tartan kilt, and a pair of St Piran cufflinks is the ideal accessory.
Both cufflinks and the pendant are made from base metal with the flag created from enamel. This creates a striking effect, with the black and white standing out boldly. The white cross on both pieces of jewellery is enhanced with fine metal outline.
Our St Piran pendant and cufflinks are available to buy online at Bonds the Jewellers. If you run a heritage attraction in Cornwall, and feel that these would make excellent souvenirs for your gift shop, please get in touch with us at Mallards.