Surprisingly, knots appear a lot in antique jewellery, in various forms. There are also a lot of different knots, such as the true lover’s knot, carrick knot, the bow knot, the reef or square knot and the various forms of the celtic knot.
The symbolism around knots centres on everlasting love. The tying of knots is associated with being bound together in matrimony. A true lover’s knot generally involved two interlocked knots made in two adjoining strands. The two strands are moveable but are unbreakable. The knot is supposed to have originated with sailors. When the sailor is sailing away from their love, the knots become tighter but will pull them back together.
There are simpler knots, like the one above in the Lalique serpent pendant and the simple bow-knot, commonly used for brooches and necklaces, when two strands are knotted together, like doing up a shoe lace.
Knots are also formed by joining two circles together. Then you can have more intricate knots, like the one below in the gold knot pin.
Today, knots are still used for bracelets and rings in particular, even if we are quite sure what the symbolism is.