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[Tidbits] A Bone ... A Brooch ... Mussolini and Haile Selassie


A Bone … A Brooch … Mussolini and Haile Selassie

Just when you thunk you’ve seen it all … along comes the
unimaginable to titillate the imaginable. Politics rears her head
and invades the world of jewelry. Italy … circa 1955 … a brooch
is created in Bakelite … inexpensive jewelry when it comes to
materials … provocative and priceless when value is placed on

October 1935. Mussolini–bricklayer turned power hungry dictator
–invades Ethiopia. Haile Selassie-- emperor of this ancient
Abyssinian Empire dating back to biblical times–whose monarchy
traces its origins to the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon … is not
happy. And thereby hangs a tale of a brooch.

A heavy-set Mastiff (Mussolini) with anger etched in his grimace …
is trying to take a Bone (Ethiopia) away from an emaciated Dog
(Haile Selassie) fighting for its very survival and unwilling to
cede to the obvious overwhelming power of its adversary.

Somewhere in Italy an anonymous artist creates a brooch as
arepresentational sculpture of Mussolini’s exultant incursion into
Ethiopia. Two dogs fighting over a bone. How appropriate. How
ingenious. How clever. How smart. A piece of molded Bakelite
preserves for as long as it exists an historical moment in time. And
an artist–hopefully still among us–has taken some portions of
earthly matter and created for himself in his jewelry–a touch

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Tidbits…and then click on the link that says: Ethiopia … where
you will see a graphic of a brooch created with talent and

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks. Catch you all
next week. Benjamin Mark

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