He is one of the most famous jewelers to have graced the noble arena
of the world’s jewelry elite. He was born in 1830 to a family of
drapers. Alas… or hallelujah… depending on your point of view …
he did not like the textile business. He wanted to be–of all
unimaginable things–a jeweler. Perhaps there was a touch of lunacy
that ran in his family. Perhaps it was a touch of genius. If lunacy
and normality are judged by the majority… then who is it I wonder
that judges genius? Perhaps in this case you should be the arbiter.
The Fish represents the fecund life of the oceans. It is the womb
that gives birth to all life on our planet. Civilization came to
humanity via the Fish. The Sumeria Enki, the Babylonian Oannes, the
Phoenician Dagon… they were all fish-headed gods. They emerged from
the deep by day to teach… and returned to their oceans at night.
At 14 years of age our jeweler-to-be began an apprenticeship in the
workshop Jules Chaise and subsequently plied his trade with
Tixier-Deschamps a famous jeweler at the Palais Royal. At 28 years of
age he opened his first boutique under the arches of the Palais
Royal. He was an immediate success.
The fish headdress of the priests of Enki-Oannes ultimately became
the miters of Christian bishops. Moon goddesses were depicted as half
fish… mermaids to the agnostics amongst you. When it came to the
fertility goddesses such as Frigga… they were honored by having
fish eaten on their day–Friday–a name derived from the name of the
Then… in 1893… a scant 35 years later… he became first jeweler
to open a store in the Place Vendme… a high level arena for the
aristocracy and of the upper class bourgeoisie of Paris. His
creativity bordered on brashness. He won awards at the Universal
Exhibitions of 1867 and 1889. He established his reputation and put
himself on the map as one of the greatest jewelers in the world.
The fish presides in mythological and astrological lore. Hindu: Manu
is towed to land over a raging sea by a giant fish who ultimately
reveals himself as Brahma or Vishnu. Celtic: Fintan survives the
Flood by turning into a salmon. While roasting a salmon Finn burns
his thumb and then sucks it… thereby gaining wisdom.
Our jeweler founded a French family dynasty. Four generations helped
the name become a worldwide leader in the High Jewelry market. His
name has expanded his brand to the four corners of the globe. Who is
he you may well ask. To tell or not to tell… that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler to divulge a name or to take refuge in secrecy
and let all quiver in their quests for an answer. Quiver away I say.
I will let you know next week.
As to the fish… ah… well… I have an image of such beastie in
the form of an 18 karat yellow gold diamond and ruby bracelet which
sold in 1998 for $13,800. Rather a handsome little creature… even
if I must say. Wanna see?
For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at http://www.tyler-adam.com where you
will scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that
says Current Tidbits… and you will see represented on our pages an
image of a fish-bracelet of delightful demeanor born at the hands of
a jewelry family of major consequence.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.