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Heikki Seppä

Lupin Wedding Crown
1982
gold, silver, and diamond
4 x 8 x 8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the James Renwick Alliance

Finnish-born Heikki Seppä is known for his innovative metalsmithing techniques. The crown is composed of thin-gauge silver sheets soldered to create a lightweight hollow form. The series of swirls ends in a spray of gold lupin, a symbol of fertility. A lupin wedding crown refers to a Finnish wedding custom. During the reception, a bride, wearing a crown, is blindfolded and her bridesmaids dance around her. She then removes her crown and places it on the head of one of the women—whoever is crowned would be the next to marry.