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Design and synthetic stones


#1
  I doubt that Lalique used bone. Ivory was in style. 

As soon as I sent that post, I realized I had probably misspoken
there - most of the carved faces featured in Lalique jewelry were
carved, as Richard pointed out, from ivory rather than bone. It’s
mostly a semantic difference (I mean, we’re talking about elephant
teeth when you get right down to it), but also a perceptive one. I
have seen several books on Lalique with gross errors made in terms of
the identification of materials and design elements alike, so the
fire opal/carnelian mix-up doesn’t surprise me; chrysoprase
identified as “jade” is a common one too. I’ve many times seen
yellow-jacket wasps in Lalique pieces called “bees,” an error that
bothers entomologists to no end.

(Lalique jewelry is some of the most entomologically accurate ever
made, by the way - no ambiguous hymentopterans there! :slight_smile:

I have had the privilege of seeing a few pieces of Lalique jewelry in
person during a recent trip to Berlin. Yes, it is bigger in person
than one would imagine – in particular, the famous
dragonfly-morphing-into-or-devouring-a-woman brooch is gigantic: 9
1/2" x 10 1/2"!

So, anyway, getting back to the core idea of the thread, the gist of
the post I made was that if Lalique (whose work I guess most jewelers
still admire) used combinations of “cheap” materials like cast glass
and horn in combination with gold and “fine” stones such as diamonds,
then the rest of us should not be afraid to do so either.

All the best,
Jessee Smith
www.silverspotstudio.com


#2
    It's mostly a semantic difference (I mean, we're talking about
elephant teeth when you get right down to it) 

Teeth have three main components; cementum, dentin and enamel.
Ivory’s composition is calcium phosphate with collagen and elastin.
There really is a big difference that isn’t at all semantic.

    So, anyway, getting back to the core idea of the thread, the
gist of the post I made was that if Lalique (whose work I guess
most jewelers still admire) used combinations of "cheap" materials
like cast glass and horn in combination with gold and "fine" stones
such as diamonds, then the rest of us should not be afraid to do so
either. 

I couldn’t agree more.

James in SoFl


#3

D’oh! I never guessed that “teeth” and “tusks” wouldn’t have the
same composition; I guess I was just thinking of their homologous
derivation. I wonder, do other forms of “ivory,” such as narwhal
or walrus tusks, have the same structure?

Thanks, as always, for your informative posts!

Jessee Smith
www.silverspotstudio.com


#4
    I wonder, do other forms of "ivory," such as narwhal or walrus
tusks, have the same structure? 

Basically yes, but not precisely. Even elephants from different
regions may have significant differences in the exact composition of
both the organic and/or mineral components of their ivory. Among
different species such as whale, walrus, etc, experts (of which I am
not one) can usually tell the difference by sight.

Elephant ivory’s physical structure usually displays a visual
phenomenon named the “engine turning effect” that is usually the
giveaway for identification. It looks really cool, too.

James in SoFl