You can blame Beau Brummel, the Regency era dandy, who decreed the minimalist style for men (see my past post) nearly 200 years ago. Many men today still don't wear jewelry and if they do, they often have difficulty finding what they like.

That's exactly how Duncroft Masterworks based here in Halifax, Nova Scotia got started with a very masculine collection of jewelry when Marc Murphy decided to design jewelry he liked. The pieces are "... for any man that wants to pay tribute to the warrior cultures of the past."

 His testosterone inspired collection features lead-free pewter spin casted pendants, each with a dark patina for that aged and rugged look. Perfect gifts for yourself or the men in your life this Christmas. Each necklace comes with a glossy black box and a beautiful poem card.

I wondered what inspired him. He said, "My feeling is that the West has really lost it's way, being obsessed with pop culture and materialism. The pendants are a small way of remembering all the great leaders and civilizations that had to fight for what we take for granted today. They also remind us to be proud of our cultures and traditions."

One of his designs, A Roaring Heart, features the lion rampant,  a favorite heraldic symbol for centuries, especially in Scotland.  Marc was inspired by the symbol in the Nova Scotian flag shown below. Nova Scotia means New Scotland for parts of this province really do remind one of Scotland and no doubt seemed like home to the large Scottish population who settled here. Nova Scotia was the first Scottish settlement in North America (1621).

Marc's poem which accompanies this pendant is most apt :

"Tis a blessed thing,
When my claymore swings,
It warms my lion's heart!
I dream of home
Where the bagpipes drone
Oh to be born a Scot!"

I also liked the Roman Eagle pendant appropriately called Glory to the Empire (below left). The Roman army in its heyday terrified their opponents for they were such a unified fighting force - highly disciplined and courageous. (See my past post Boudicca - The Warrior Queen's Jewelry about a rebellion against the Romans in England about 2000 years ago.)

Marc also paid homage to a whole warrior society, the Spartans with his Walls of Sparta shield pendant (above right). This ancient Greek city state were merciless in their zeal to produce tough warriors - sickly babies were killed or left out to die and the harsh training of the survivors started when the boys were just 7.

The words on the shield are Molon Labe which roughly translates as come take them.  That was the response of the Spartan King Leonidas when the Persian King Xerxes demanded the weapons and surrender of the heavily outnumbered 300 Spartans (and a few hundred other allies) at the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC). This famous battle was the subject of the 2007 movie 300 starring Gerrard Butler.

Duncroft Masterworks pendants are now sold worldwide. Although the collection is still small, there are plans to add to it. Marc has received many suggestions from his fans including Aztec, Samurai, Mongol, Celtic and Egyptian designs. He also plans to branch into belt buckles and rings - all along the same rough hewn lines of his signature pieces.

Marc has kindly offered two of his pendant necklaces for this giveaway - Thor's hammer and the Scottish lion rampant designs. The pendants are approximately 1" x 1" and about 2 quarter coins thick.

To win one of the pendants, all you you have to do is make a comment below. Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower or also on Facebook Fan page or Twitter. Please say so in the comments. The giveaway ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, November 29. I will pick two winners (one for each pendant) randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. The first person to respond gets to pick which pendant. So be sure to come back and check!

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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