The bottom item is decorative. I don't remember seeing this up on a wall anywhere, but it's possible it was out in the garage. It's heavy metal and has a small bit of a green patina.
The horseshoe is a real horseshoe. I have no idea where he would have gotten it, but, with dad, he picked things up along the way and had a lot of friends who would have passed things along. It's worn on the bottom and edges so I'm guessing this had been used at some point. I do remember dad having a horseshoe over the side entrance to the garage when they lived in Marquette.
I think I have a horseshoe in the basement. I don't remember where I would have picked it up. From the Daily Wicca comes this note about horseshoes:
The belief that good luck will come from hanging a horseshoe above a door
originates from beliefs related to symbols of half-circles and crescents.
Early religions considered crescent shaped objects powerful and protective
signs. In ancient Yucatan and Peru, temples were built with arched doorways
because of this notion. In Spain the Moors designed their mosques in arch
formation. Ruins at Stonehenge, England, show that the religious grounds of the
sun-worshiping Druids were in semi-circles or horseshoe design. Down through the
Middle Ages churches and public buildings were built with arched windows and
doorways as a means of protection against evil.
It is thought that horseshoes originated with the Greeks during the 4th Century.
Horses were held sacred at that time, so their crescent-shaped shoes became
symbols of good luck. Added power came from the fact that the horseshoes were
made from iron, the metal that people believed guarded one from the power of
witches. Until recent years, horseshoes were made to hold seven nails, a mystic
and potent number. So its no wonder that the Greeks and Romans always kept a
horseshoe nailed to the wall for protection against almost anything.
There are two beliefs on how to hang your horseshoe. One is to hang your
horseshoe prong side up, so if the Devil should get too near, he will be sucked
in and destroyed. The other belief is that if you hang your horseshoe prong side
down, the good luck will pour out over your threshold, keeping the Devil from crossing it.
So, here's the thing, should I put the horseshoe prongs up or prongs down? Another superstition is that you want them prongs up to catch any good luck floating in the air. The opposite is to have them prongs down so all the good luck will spill out on people as they enter your house. If I really do have two of them, should I put one above each door or should I just mount it on the side of the house near the doors?Sigh. Decisions. Decisions.
I'll give the shoe a good washing first of all as it's kind of dirty and rusty and then see if I really do have another in the basement. If they are good luck, I should have them up on the outside. Lord knows I can use all the good luck I can get.
Beverage: Edinburgh's Finest tea