Ceres Hermes scarf by the fabulously talented Francoise Faconnet doesn’t have anything to do with the dwarf planet nor the city in central California as you might already suspect.

Ceres Hermes scarf designed by Françoise Faconnet in 1967 – here an original issue

The Hermes Ceres is depicting the Roman Goddess by the same name. Ceres was the goddess of agriculture, fertility, grains, harvest, motherhood, and the earth and the Roman counterpart to the Greek Goddess Demeter. She is believed to have ended the unsettled wandering and lawless lifestyle of our predecessors and was credited to have given mankind agriculture and a new, civilized, way of living. The Romans celebrated and made sacrifices to Ceres throughout the year, from ploughing fields, to planting seeds up to harvest time.

The biggest festival in her honor, the Cerealia, was held from mid to late April and lasted several days. It took place at Circus Maximus, the large Roman stadium typically reserved for chariot racing. This annual festival involved some unusual pagan rituals like foxes running with lit torches tied to their tails or one that represented Ceres’ lost daughter Proserpina symbolized by a maiden running around dressed in white. Loving foxes since I was a little girl, I definitely prefer Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s version below.

Spring (1894) by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, depicting the Cerealia in a Roman street (courtesy J. Paul Getty Museum)

Francoise Faconnet’s placed her grain goddess at the center of her design and surrounded her with life’s overflowing bounty and beauty.

The grain goddess Ceres is at the center of this late 1960s design

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