[Tidbits] The Altar of King Augustus the Strong of Saxon

The Altar of King Augustus the Strong of Saxon

Sounds a bit sacrificial doesn’t it? You know…back in those times
when virgins were readied for death upon the altar to appease those
gods that needed appeasement. Well…nothing like that here folks.
This altar is a bejeweled masterpiece…about 30 centimeters high. I
think that comes out to a little under 12 inches…which is a rather
small creation for so intricate a piece as I am going to show you.

Augustus the Strong gained his crown in 1694…lost it in
1704…recovered it in 1709…and died in 1733…leaving behind a slew
of illegitimate children and a legacy of extravagant and luxurious
spending and a history of poor leadership. He was–in short–a lousy
king. Obviously, the people of Poland…where he made his inauspicious
debut as king…did not have the insanely clever electoral process we
have in Florida today… else they would have perhaps not chosen him
as king. Or…perhaps…they did indeed have such a clever
process…and it was because of this that he was crowned king. Who
knows these things? Not I.

There lived, however, in those times of Augie-the-Strong…a jeweler.
A fine jeweler in fact…as can be witnessed by his handiwork. He was
a specialist in small creations. He was a marvel in the intricacies of
detail. His name was Johann Heinrich K�hler…he lived in
Dresden…and he was one of Augie’s royal jewelers.

While this piece should be titled The Altar of Johann Heinrich
K�hler…it can’t because the available to me about this
jeweler is so meager as to be limited in its entirety to the paragraph
above and to the image I’m going to show you. And so…my friends…I
give you a bit more about Augie the Strong–I feel we’re on a
nickname basis now–in the hopes that I can give you a slight flavor
of the times in which he lived and this jeweler which he favored and
clearly needed.

The court of Poland–at that time–contained the luxury and wealth
that was the envy of Europe. Augie himself had a palace in which some
rooms were filled with gilded marble. When Augie fell in love, he was
prodigious in his gift giving. And Augie fell in love often. During a
passionate fling with a Fraulein von Kessel, he gave her diamonds
worth sixty thousand ducats. And that’s a lot of ducats folks. Then
there was Aurora von Konigsmark. When she yielded to him, she got a
diamond parure. In them thar days…it paid to be a king’s consort.
It probably pays today too…but I can’t say for sure…never having
been associated with royalty…a lack in my education which I am at a
loss to understand and which baffles me no end.

Aside from this golden altar which I am going to show…this altar
made of gilded and enameled silver and coral and diamonds and rubies
and emeralds and topazes made especially for Augustus the
Strong…our king was also singularly responsible for the creation and
manufacture of Meissen china.

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 table menu till you get to the box that says
Tidbits…and inside the box where it says Tidbit Graphics…click on
the link that says: Altar…where you will see the graphic of this
small creation…

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

TYLER-ADAM CORP.–Jewelry Manufacturers
Tel: 1-800-20-TYLER
E-Mail to: webmaster@tyler-adam.com