Tag Archives: gold

D is for Dragonflies (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 5, 2017

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Another common motif in Art Nouveau is the dragonfly, particularly in the creations of master jeweler Rene Lalique. His name is synonymous with all that is best in Art Nouveau.

From The Jewellry Editor:

The dragonfly embodied many of the themes that the Art Nouveau style evoked: nature; sensuality; metamorphosis from one physical form to another; and a more fantastical approach as in the case of Lalique’s dragonflies turning into women.

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Sterling silver art nouveau dragonfly ring.

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Gold and blue sapphires.

 

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A small, round, moulded-pressed opalescent glass box.

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Tiara: enameled dragonflies all flying toward a large aquamarine.

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Detailed view of the aquamarine and dragonfly tiara.

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Gold dragonfly pitcher by Emile Galle.

There are so many lovely examples of dragonfly art in the world of Art Nouveau. I have room to show only a few. I hope these will encourage you to explore the world of Lalique and his talented contemporaries!

 

 

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Filed under Art Nouveau, artists, Blog challenges, creativity, fairy tales, fantasy, history, nature

B is for Bat (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 3, 2017

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Of the many popular motifs in Art Nouveau jewelry, I have to say bats are among the strangest. Flowers? Sure. Insects? OK. Abstract geometric designs? No problem. But bats?

Thanks to the erudite Jewelry Nerd, you will find some possible answers here.

There are plenty of examples of this particular critter done in various precious metals and gems. I’ve included only a few. I guess the fashionable ladies of La Belle Epoque must have included some Goths!

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Bat pin of plique-a-jour enamel, pearl, diamond, with ruby eyes, 18k gold, 4″ wing span

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Bracelet by Philippe and Marcel Wolfers.

From 1stdibs.com: “A superb and iconic art nouveau portrayal of a Parisian goddess of the Demi-Monde. She has style roots going back to the Babylonian goddess Ishtar. The very revealing décolleté, flowing hair, bat wings and diamond Aurora head dress suggestively alludes to pagan pleasures and entertainments of the night, the practitioners only heading home with the dawn.”

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Art Nouveau Japanese Inlaid Damascene “Bat and Crescent” necklace in gold and silver.

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Art nouveau Czech bat pin with vaseline rhinestones.

Yes, that’s right. Vaseline rhinestones. Prior to the Cold War, jewelers could use uranium in the creation of certain types of art glass. The results resembled the appearance of the petroleum jelly as it was produced at that time.

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E is for Eiffel Tower


by Lillian Csernica on April 6, 2016

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The one weekend I spent in Paris included a trip to the foot of the Eiffel Tower.  Staring straight up through the tower to its very top was such a dizzying experience I didn’t dare ascend to view the City of Lights from that historic height.

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The bus tour of Paris I’d taken allowed us a chunk of time on Sunday afternoon to go shopping.  I wanted a gold pendant of the Eiffel Tower for my mother.  Off I went through a department store.  Mind you, I was 18 then, and the extent of my French was “Parlez-vous Anglais?”  More often than not, I got a curt “Non.”

When I finally found the jewelry department, I also found a sales woman who clearly did not like the sight of me nor the sound of my bad French accent.  At that point I’d had more than enough of being dismissed.   It is an unfortunate truth, but if there is one language universally spoken by salespeople, it is that of Money.   I took out my entire supply of traveler’s checks, fanned them out, held them up to Madame Francais, and asked, “Parlez-vous American Express?”

She was quickly replaced by Raoul, a charming young man who spoke perfect British English and was the soul of courtesy.  He showed me the range of pendants available, from one as tiny as my little fingernail to one big enough to land a swordfish!

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I exchanged the appropriate amount of traveler’s checks, made my purchase, and departed feeling victorious.  When it comes to making my mother happy, do not mess with me! 😀

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