SLW
Halcyon Days Kingfisher (Small)
Silver Kingfisher on Stick
Bronze Kingfisher on Stick
Bronze Kingfisher on Stick
Silver Kingfisher on Reed
 

HALCYON DAYS - SMALL

Bronze numbered edition of 12

80cm x 28cm x 28cm approximately

 

£4,200

1/1
 

Calm,  peaceful days.

The Halcyon is a bird of Greek legend and the name is now commonly given to the European Kingfisher. The ancients believed that the bird made a floating nest in the Aegean Sea and had the power to calm the waves while brooding her eggs. Fourteen days of calm weather were to be expected when the Halcyon was nesting

The source of the belief in the bird's power to calm the sea originated in a myth recorded by Ovid. The story goes that Aeolus, the ruler of the winds, had a daughter named Alcyone, who was married to Ceyx, the king of Thessaly. Ceyx was drowned at sea and Alcyone threw herself into the waves in a fit of grief. Instead of drowning, she was transformed into a bird and carried to her husband by the wind. 

The myth came to the English-speaking world in the 14th century, when, in 1398, John Trevisa translated Bartholomew de Glanville's De proprietatibus rerum into Middle English: 

"In the cliffe of a ponde of occean, Alcion, a see foule, in wynter maketh her neste and layeth egges in vii days and sittyth on brood ... seuen dayes."

By the 16th century the phrase 'halcyon days' had lost its association with the nesting time of the bird and had taken on the figurative meaning of 'calm days'. Shakespeare used the expression that way in Henry VI, Part I, 1592:

 

Assign'd am I to be the English scourge.
This night the siege assuredly I'll raise:
Expect Saint Martin's summer, halcyon days,
Since I have entered into these wars.

Note: Saint Martin's summer is what we now know as an Indian summer. 

 

 

The kingfisher is associated with other powers relating to the weather. In mediaeval times it was thought that if the dried carcass of a kingfisher was hung up it would always point its beak in the direction of the wind. Shakespeare also refers to this belief, in King Lear, 1605:

Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods;
Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
With every gale and vary of their masters 

 

 

Our current use of 'halcyon days' tends to be nostalgic and recalling of the seemingly endless,  calm peaceful days  *

 

 

KINGFISHER ON REED 

Bronze numbered edition of 9

 

49cm x 28cm x 16cm approximately

 

Bronze   £2,500

 

Silver      £7000- edition of 6

 

KINGFISHER ON STICK 

Bronze numbered edition of 12

 

41cm x 10cm x 10cm approximately    

 

Bronze £2200  

 

Silver  £7000, edition of 6

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*phrases.org.uk/meanings/halcyon-days.html