Mystery object of the month

‘Ugly’, ‘fascinating’, ‘terrifying’, ‘never seen anything evil like this’ and ‘horrible’. Visitors to the HJBF venue use a broad variety of words to describe this object hanging on the wall at our office. For sure: this mystery object of the month is an intriguing eye catcher too all.

Of course, everybody asks: ‘Why do you have this on your wall?’. The answer is that we found it object hidden away in the attic of an old, dating back to medieval times, building downtown Utrecht, The Netherlands. Since 1922 the building is owned by the Utrecht Chapter of the Dutch Spiritualistic Society “Harmonia”. The board of this society donated it to us.

Questions soon rise to the surface: What is the meaning behind the white and pink crocheted flowers in the silver vase? What reveals the purple curtain on the black background? We hadn’t a clue of its purpose and were also unaware of its symbolic meaning and so we decided to do some desk research.

Our research cleared the sky and soon revealed that the carnation flowers are loaded with symbolism. By the end of the dark ages, the carnation portered the suffering of Jesus Christ. The leaves reminded people of the nails in the cross of Jesus. Nowadays in the Netherlands, the carnation is often found within a funeral bouquet for the deceased. The two colors of the flowers are symbolic also. The white flowers symbolize the wish to the receiving person lots of luck and love. The pink carnation is to say: ‘I will never forget you’.  A very loving message for the deceased.

Why the purple curtain against a black background? There is a likely explanation. Of course purple and black are both the colors often associated with death. The half-open purple curtain might stand for the entrance to the afterlife. The maker of this object has passed the ‘purple curtain’ already a long time ago. We will never know for sure what was on his mind for creating our February 2018 mystery object of the month.