Dragons and Sea Monsters and Sirens
These were some of the themes of the Renaissance. Large baroque
pearls mounted on enameled gold or gold studded with colorful
We’re in the middle of the sixteenth century.
Ingenuity flourished and the offbeat themes thrived.
The stranger the better folks. Step right up. As I wave me magic
wand and open up the curtain, I shows you the latest, the
greatest, the most munificent of the Renaissance pendants.
It has gold…it has enamel…it has diamonds and rubies and
pearls. “There’s a rich Maharaja from Magadorrrr…” Anybody
remember that song? The jewel was given to a Lord Canning while
he was in India. And Lord Canning brought it back. And it
presently resides in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. It
is named after its owner, Lord Canning…and so…quaintly
enough…it is called “The Canning Jewel”.
So…before I show you the graphic, let me tell you a bit more
about it. It has three large pearls hanging at its base. They’re
not purely decorative folks, they also functional. They balance
and stabilize the asymmetric lines of the piece. They let it hang
right. The way I see it, a great phrase was probably born of the
jewelry of the day. Let us suppose Lord Canning was taking a
stroll one day through the gardens. Along comes a friend, who
knows about the pendant, and is concerned for his Lordship that
perhaps there might be a flaw in this awesome piece, and due to
the flaw, the pendant might not hang correctly from Canning’s
chain. So he goes to Lord Canning and says…Hey…Canning.
How’s it hanging?..referring, of course, to the bejewelled
pendant. Today we might use that phrase a little differently. Who
knows? Not moi.
Let us go back to the pearls for a moment. Baroque pearls, of
that day, were used with utmost ingenuity. Not only were they
used for equilibrium, but they also often became part of the
torso or body of the figure depicted in the jewelry. Take a
close look at the pendant. The man’s torso is a baroque pearl.
Very often an ugly shaped stone or pearl was transformed when put
into the skilled hands of the artisans of the day. The Canning
Jewel is a unique example of the art of the day.
Okay. That about covers it for this week. So now…quick quick my
friends. To my home page…before the other guy, or gal, gets
there. Be the first in your neighborhood to say you saw the
Canning Jewel on Tyler-Adam’s home page. For those who need
directions…from my home page…down the table menu…to the box
that says Tidbits, and inside that box…click on Canning.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
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