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[Tidbits] Mosaic Earrings


There appears at times to be an ambiguity of words as they relate to
jewelry. To wit. Barbarian or primitive. That is the question. And
therein lies the conundrum.

Let us start with the barbarian. This may refer to a low fellow. A
cad. A guttersnipe. A slum dweller. A tatterdemalion. (This last one
is for those of you who pride themselves on the grasp of the English
language and who feel they can never be stumped.) I continue. He can
be a rascal, a criminal, or a savage. When I think of barbarian … I
tend to lean toward savage. Like Genghis Khan for example. He was–in
my mind --a barbarian’s barbarian. A barbarian par excellence if you

Which brings us to the primitive. This may refer to an inferior
class. A common sort of a person. A humble folk of lesser breed. One
coupled with extreme ignorance. A primitive is one of the great
unwashed servile classes. He is the bourgeois of the modern world and
the maker of flint-headed spears in the ancient world. He is one of
the submerged. One who only thought he could think before those who
came along afterwards knew they could think.

Which brings us to the profound enigma with which I am faced. Read on
and I shall explain.

In Senise in the province of Potenza there arose–as in a light
shining through a window-- a large group of barbarian jewelers. And
here is the problem. When they refer to barbarian jewelers. do they
mean barbarians. or primitives? Do they create a magnificent piece
and then slit each others’ throats and burn each other at the stake?
Or do they finish their masterpiece and say: Look. Ugh. Igor make
earring. I leave you to judge. I will merely present the facts to the
best of my translateable abilities.

As concerns the high quality of the solid gold earrings you are about
to see–made circa 659-668-- there lies the staring imagery of what
appears to be two women.

Apparent at that time was the evident artistic modality in keeping
with the technique of creating mosaics all the while ensuring a
glassy result. The precise forms of these female heads are ensconced
within a circle surrounded by 21 collets created with red stones. Are
they primitive? Are they barbaric? Or are they just plain stunning.
all dissenters notwithstanding. I agree–by the way–that beauty is in
the eyes of the beholder. She’s a stunner. No she isn’t. She’s a
stunner. He’s truly quite handsome. No. Not really. He’s the handsome
one. And so it goes.

As to the figurines in the earrings. there is the theory that they
are not women at all but rather that one of them represents Heraclius
and the other Tiberius. Who knows? The dates match.

So. you wanna see? You know where. Home page: Left
hand menu. Click on Tidbits.

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