Hedwig Glass Was More Than A Focal Point To Women In Labor

Hedwig glasses at first glance may appear unremarkable, but did you know that the one belonging to St. Elizabeth was thought to bring good luck to women in labor! By today's standards the ancient Egyptian glass may appear dull and not so intricate. But in fact many have lions, and griffens and other animals in and among palm fronds and were quite remarkable given the crude rock crystal techniques they used.. It is not really known what the significance of the palm leaf settings were, but it is thought the glasses were probably was produced for religious pilgrims to the middle east around the 11th century. When these were brought back from a pilgrimage, often the church came to posses these as treasures from the Holy Land. Only about a dozen of these exist. The glasses were named for Saint Hedwig, but became especially symbolic for obstetricians. The Hedwig glass that belonged to St. Elizabeth, which eventually passed to Martin Luther, was known to bring luck to women in labor. In this age we encourage our patients using breathing to help their labor to also have a focal point. Perhaps Hedwig glass used to be just such a focal point for the parturient of the Middle Ages, but then perhaps it was actually much more.  An example of Hedwig glass is on display at the British Museum, and if you see it you will understand just a bit of the power that a work of art, and the touch of great men and women can bring to us thoroughly modern girls! 

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