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St Christopher Surf Pendant Two-Sided, Modernist

St Christopher Pendant
Circa 1950s
Metal and Enamel
Design Detail:
Rare Modernist Imagery. Two Sided: Side 1 features St Christopher walking towards viewer, Side 2 features profile of surfer on wave.
1 inch diameter, 24" contrasting chain
Good vintage condition, with wear on finish as shown.

Authentic Vintage St Christopher Pendant Two-Sided, Modernist Design, created circa 1950s. Design features a modernist, sculptural rendition of St Christopher positioned as if walking out of the frame and towards the viewer with staff in hand and child on his shoulder.  Circling around the scene are symbolic waves to represent the water he is walking through.  Around the outer edges, surrounded by a light green enamel are the words Saint Christopher Protect Us.  The reverse side features the profile of a Surfer on a wave.  The pendant measures 1 inch diameter. Sold with 24" contrasting chain. Structurally sound, overall wear as is exhibited in photos, pewter colored coating wearing off with gold colored metal shining through.

Both shipping and local pick-up available. 

Why Surfers Wear Saint Christopher Pendants:

Throughout history St Christopher has been known as The Protector of Travelers. He earned this recognition because he stood 7.5 foot tall and took on service to God by carrying people across a dangerous deep water stream where many were meeting their death... and so the legend began. During the rise of the automotive industry people used to pin St Christopher metals on their visors and paste them on their dashboards. Sailors, train engineers, bus drivers & traveling salesmen of faith would carry a St Christopher medal for protection. The Spanish have the phrase "Si en San Cristóbal confías, de accidente no morirás" ("If you trust St. Christopher, you won't die in an accident").

We're not sure who the first surfer was to introduce this custom to the world of surf. In the sixties the California surfer boys used to purchase the St Christopher pendants at the Catholic bookstores and wear them as they became one with nature and took risks in the water, traveling across the waves. The pendants soon became the surfers version of the class ring or letter-man sweater and became the item of choice of the Surfers' Girlfriends. The nuns at bookstores up and down the California coast probably didn't know what to make of the sudden run on pendants.

This tradition of wearing a St Christopher in the surf and giving a pendant to a loved one for protection is an insider tradition that continues today. So much so that numerous imitation pendants have been made and are now sold in commercial surf shops around the globe We've sold St Christopher pendants since we opened.

We had one charming father, in with his family of six who purchased one for each family member; his wife down to the five year old. "They do a lot of traveling even just on their daily commutes and these should keep them safe" he said with a wink and a smile. It's customary for couples to stop by and buy one for the other... And then there are the surfers. All ages, all faiths.... Surfers of the waves and surfers of the dreams wear St Christopher pendants on their necks, carry them as key chains, put them on their dashboards. It's an amazing story of a popular culture phenomenon.

The secret is in the knowing of which one to buy. There are several varieties, metal, gold, silver, vintage enamel, one-sided, two-sided... some with a little wear, some that have been well used and there are the newer commercial releases. There's a price difference and a quality difference. But there's one for every budget and we keep quality versions across the spectrum stocked. So next time your feet take you on a journey and you feel you need a bit o' protection for yourself or a loved one you know where to turn. We'll set you right... we'll make sure you know the original from the reproduction, assist you with your selection and wish you safe travels.

Please contact us for current inventory, prices and availability.

Surfing Cowboys®

Donna & Wayne