[Tidbits] Lalique--Elizabeth Taylor--The Gorgon

Perhaps I should have called it The Three Jeweleteers. You know…
Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. Or. perhaps more fitting. Rene, Liz, and
Medusa. However…

Where to begin. Medusa perhaps. I tend to be attracted to horror.
You all know her. Snake hair lady. Ugly as sin by some accounts. One
look and you turned into stone. Maybe one or two of you knew some
women like that on a bad hair day. Honey. how’s my hair? Uh-oh. Trick
question. Time to keep yer yap shut. And you all know that a guy (his
name was Perseus) cut off her head and held it before him as a weapon
and whoever looked upon Medusa’s puss turned into stone. But here’s
what I bet you didn’t know. When Perseus chopped off her noggin.
Medusa was pregnant. By Poseidon no less. Why would a god have
moofkie poofkie with a snake-haired dog-woman? There’s clearly no
accounting for taste. In any case. when Medusa died she gave birth to
a horse with wings named Pegasus. Hah. Who woulda thunk it?

Which brings us–quite naturally–to Elizabeth Taylor. A stunner in
her time. Anybody our there remember National Velvet? Or Cat on a Hot
Tin Roof? Or even Butterfield 8? She was born in 1932 and was an
actress by the time she was eight years old. She was a helluva broad.
Pretty. Talented. Smart. Gutsy. And better even than all that. she
looooved jewelry. And who was one of her favorite jewelers? Hmmm?

Why. Rene Lalique of course. Now here’s the thing of it about ol’
Rene. Everybody in and out of our business has heard of him. Hell.
He’s even more famous than Trump if you can believe such a thing. But
his bio. those little blurbs people write about other people. is
sparse. Yeah. He was born in 1860 and he died in 1945. He was 85
years old. But who gives a rat’s ass? And he’s buried in Pere
Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. Oooh. now I’m really shivering with
excitement. But his accomplishments. ah… now we’re talking a
jeweler of a different caliber. He was good at everything he
undertook. He was France’s premiere Art Nouveau jewelry designer. He
created pieces for Cartier and Boucheron and others.

He was a glass maker. He excelled in the style of Art Deco. His work
can be seen inside of and in front of St. Matthew’s Church at
Millbrook in New Jersey. I believe it’s referred to as Lalique’s
Glass Church.

He was interested in rock crystal and architectural design. He
became a manufacturer of perfume bottles. His designs had and have
artistic as well as commercial success. He is shown in numerous
museums around the world. And everybody who is anybody wears his

So how does all this come together you may all well ask. Yes well.
it’s simplicity itself old chums. As mentioned above. Elizabeth
Taylor loved Lalique’s work. And one of Lalique’s works was a pendant
of the head of Medusa framed with gold serpents with blue green
enamel under which dangled a single pearl. Medusa. in this instance.
is so ugly that’s she’s beautiful. Or perhaps she’s so beautiful you
do not see her ugly. Or perhaps she’s just plain hideously ugly.
These things are not always so easily discernable. My personal view
is that she’s so damned ugly that she’s beautiful. a trait one rarely
finds in real life. My experience is that when you’re beautiful
you’re beautiful and when you’re ugly you’re ugly. And then of course
there are the in-betweens. But that’s a philosophical discussion for
another time.

And that’s that folks.

You know the rest. The visit to the image. also known as the viewing
experience. You know where. Home page. http://www.tyler-adam.com.
Scroll down. Left side. Tidbits. Click. And there for your sensory
optic pleasure you will see Lalique’s Medusa enameled gold snake
framed pendant of incredible beauty. or not? Your choice.

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

Benjamin Mark