They soar through the heavens… females of great beauty and
elegance … exquisite afficianados in the art of dance. They are the
female spirits of the clouds and the waters. They are the Apsaras.
They dance in the palaces of the gods… they change their shapes at
will… and they rule over games of chance and gambling. These-- my
friends–are the creatures you want to take with you when tripping
the light fantastic at Monte Carlo.
These are the celestial nymphs with eyes like lotus leaves… slim
waisted and large hipped… with deep ample bosoms… created for the
sole purpose of enticement… stealing the hearts of the unwary …
and luring them–upon occasion–to their deaths. Should you happen to
be an ascetic… beware… for you are the favorite prey of the
Apsaras as they drag you into the depths of depravation. Ah… the
thrill of enticing the unenticeable.
Sh. Listen. Do you hear that familiar refrain? There it is… in the
distance. Benjaminnnnn… say the faint voices as they reach through
the mists of perplexion. What has this do to with jewelry? Funny that
question should pop up. No? Funnier yet… I have the answer.
It has to do with Zhu Bishan and Xie Junping and Tang Junqing and
all the other famous gold and silver smiths… names that reside on
the tips of the tongues of every jeweler alive today worth their
salt… names that have come down through the centuries… names that
jewelers of the world whisper in reverential awe while sitting at
their benches diddling around with a little granulation… names that
emanated from the Yuan Dynasty… names associated with crafstmanship
seldom seen today… for they might have been the DeBeers and the Van
Cleef’s of their day… with most of their work having disappeared
through the millenia… with only an isolated piece here and there
showing up… gleaming out of the obsurity of an almost all but
forgotten past… brought to the forefront of of consciousness by
this fellow who seems to delight in uncovering that which most would
not see in their every day lives.
And so… to partially quote the great Cyrano when he was played by
an old actor without parallel named Jose Ferrer quite a few years
ago… “As I end the refrain…” I bring you Apsaras as a gold
headress… unearthed at Quhuisi Village in Shanxi Province… dating
back to the Yuan Dynasty and made by… who knows… maybe one of the
names named above. Personally… I haven’t a clue.
For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at www.tyler-adam.com where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Current Tidbits… and then click on it in order to view Apsaras of
the Yuan Dynasty.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.