She bought the bracelet from Georges Fouquet–a Parisian jeweler and
goldsmith who took over his family’s business around 1895. Alas …
famous as she was… she had so much trouble paying for the little
trinket that Fouquet had to send a messenger to the theatre every
night where she was appearing as Cleopatra in order to collect the
installments she owed on it. Bling bling on the installment
plan–lest you all think otherwise–is not a product of modernist
society. I am quite sure that when Grub went to buy his girl–after
having dragged her by her hair to his cave–a bear-claw necklace from
that overpriced yet talented jeweler from a neighboring tribe… he
had to pay dearly in stone spear-heads over many moons.
That said… let me help you in guessing to whom our hand belongs.
Our heroine was born in Paris, France in 1844. Her grandfather,
Moritz, was a Jewish merchant in Amsterdam, Holland. To support
herself… our lady combined two careers: That of actress and that of
courtesan… not widely held as respectable choices for the women of
that day. Today of course… these are both careers to be envied.
She was sponsored into the Conservatoire de Musique et D=eclamation
by the Duc de Morny in 1859. Three years later…she began her stage
career. Alas… she was a failure… and in 1865… she returned to
her original career as courtesan. And then she bought a coffin… and
often slept in it in lieu of a bed. This experience clearly must have
helped… for she returned to the stage in the 1870’s and her fame
then grew. Europe. New York. The world. She was now considered by
many to be the most famous actress of her day.
And then she became a teacher and had among her students another
actress and fellow courtesan… Liane de Pougy… whoever she is.
When once asked if she was a religious person, she said, “Me pray?
Never! I’m an atheist.”
So… do you know who she is? Want to guess before I tell you?
Sarah Bernhardt was who she was. And the hand in the image with the
Fouquet bracelet was hers.
And Happy New Year to you all.
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 a bracelet
by Fouquet and a hand by Bernhardt.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.