The Isle of Man

Enameled Isle of Man Cufflinks (LEO Design)

The triskelion shown on the enameled cufflinks (above), are the ancient symbol of the Isle of Man, an island in the Irish Sea, halfway between Ireland and England.  Settled some 6500 years BC, it has been invaded, conquered, and influenced by many. It retains, nevertheless, a rugged, independent—and perhaps defiant—individuality.

Myth abounds on the island.  Legend has it the island was ruled by a Celtic sea god, Manannan mac Lir, who would protect the island with his misty cloak, hiding it from invaders.  Moddey Dhoo, a ghostly black dog, wanders the remains of Peel Castle.  And the faeries, known as “the little folk”—or, sometimes, “themselves”—run wild.  When crossing the Fairy Bridge, one is certain to bring-on bad luck if he doesn’t wish the faeries “A Good Day.”

The Manx cat—born with a short (or no) tail—comes from the island. And one of the world’s premier motorcycle road races, “The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Race” is run on the island’s open roads each year.

First conquered by English Northumbria, the Isle of Man was subsequently invaded by the Norse, Scots, and, possibly Mediterraneans—for the three-legged symbol of the island is closely associated with Sicily.  Today, the island is independently governed. Though not a part of Great Britain or the U.K, Queen Elizabeth II retains the title “Lord of Mann.”