We are in an era before Lalique and Duguine and Lafitte. We are in a
time when women were not yet in the forefront of jewelry design. It
was considered quite gauche in those days to have one lady to wear
upon her bosom the image in gold of another lady in all the
splendiferousness of her nakedness Till one day… in the late 1800’s
to early 1900’s a movement in the decorative arts surfaced… and Art
Nouveau made its appearance heralded by the above mentioned artists.
It was around this same time that some clever rascal… surely
sitting in his dingy lab in a dank dark dungeon in the middle of a
metropolis which ignored his apparent genius thinking it to be the
machinations of a foul-minded lunatic… it was around this same time
that our rascal began examining some bugs with close scrutiny and
began to see in every gossamer wing and every jointed leg and each
protruding thorax the figure of a beautiful woman.
Genius comes in many forms my friends.
I digress for a micro-second of time to ask this pithy question: Do
you like striking? Do you like drop-dead gorgeous? If yes… read
on. If nay… desist. I now un-digress.
As the art nouveau movement took on steam it coincided with women’s
consciousness and sense of selves. The suffragettes were still a
ways off … but the women’s demands were on the increase. In their
quests for equality and freedom there grew a flamboyance which
manifested itself in outrageous designs… the more bizarre the
Rene Lalique is supposed to have been the first goldsmith since the
late Renaissance to depict the female nude in jewelry. Of the daring
images shown by him and others like him… there were snakes…
winged creatures like bats… peacocks… insects… and most
depraved of them all… winged female nudes. For the lascivious and
the warped of the time… it was to salivate from. Blase as we are
today… though we may salivate less…these jewelry trends are still
I bring you today Lalique’s Dragonfly Corsage… a woman–naked to
the waist-- protruding from a dragonfly’s body… being swallowed or
spit out. Her arms are now insect wings. She has oversized gold
claws for ripping her victims to shreds. She is sublime and
predatory… she is eternally female while also mythic. She in
For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at http://www.tyler-adam.com where you
will scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that
says Current Tidbits… and you will see represented on our pages
Lalique’s Dragonfly Corsage…, a woman metamorphosing into or from a
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.