There is also a spiritual undercurrent to the pendant, as the parrot, snail and white rabbit are iconographically linked with the Virgin Mary and are considered an expression of feminine virtues.
The parrot, for example, is associated with the virtue of obedience. This is because the parrot was seen as a bird that could be easily trained to repeat phrases or prayers, much like how a faithful Christian should follow God’s will without question.
The snail, on the other hand, is linked with the virtue of humility. This is because the snail is a small and seemingly insignificant creature that moves slowly and steadily, representing the idea that one should not strive for attention or fame but instead lead a humble and modest life.
Finally, the white rabbit is associated with the virtue of purity. The color white symbolizes innocence and purity, and the rabbit’s timid and gentle nature reinforces this association.
Together, these animal symbols in the pendant express a range of feminine virtues that were highly valued in Christian societies. The use of such symbols in jewelry demonstrates how spirituality and symbolism have been integrated into material culture throughout history.
In any case, it will have been clear to the bride what expectations were placed on her.
The parrot pendant, which has been on permanent display at Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim since 1968, is now part of the museum’s collection as part of the Werner Wild Foundation’s generous donation on the occasion of its tenth anniversary.