[Tidbits] The Pulmanata

The Pulmanata

A little creature in nature, our Pulmanata is…a very specialized
little creature you all know who has both male and female organs. Oh,
what a delight when they go out on a date. A movie perhaps…a little
late night snack at the local bistro…and then…well…you know
that old saying about getting in to each other. These creatures my
friends, do just that. For the Pulmanata is a species of snail…and
for them… a meeting is truly a blissful encounter.

We may all know snails as either an eating delicacy–escargots–or as
a slimy little animal without use…or even perhaps as a good bottom
cleaner of fish tanks. But how about jewelry folks? Does the snail
have anything to contribute to the world of jewelry…a world into
which every living creature is or should be ensconced…for life
without jewelry is truly a shallow existence…is it not? Yeah yeah. I
know. There’s bread. There are flowers. There’s poetry. There are the
heavens. There are the mountains. There’s love. Bah…humbug I
say…secondary stuff when compared to the marvel of a little trinket
of shiny yellow metal dangling from a loved one’s ear which was
pierced through and through to accommodate said trinket.

It is in this spirit that I bring you our beastie of the day. It’s
shell has long played a role in the world of jewelry. Stunning and
iridescent and highly colored shells of the abalone have long been
used in inlay work. Trochus shells were used in the making of buttons.
Cameos come from the shell of the Cassis Rufa. Certain native tribes
used the snail shell as a form of money. Natives of New Guinea adorn
themselves with the shells of beautiful snails. They’re used in
worship among the Shinto priests of Japan. They’re worn as a badge of
office by chieftains.

And last but not least…they are…upon occasion…used as goblets.
Goblets of snail shells in conjunction with gold. Ah…what a
sight… this snail shell over the figure of a dragon…ridden by a
man-like sea creature holding another snail shell up as a vessel to
hold liquids with which one can refresh oneself. Come to my
party…one and all… and drink from my snail shell goblet. Of
course…the gala is a way off…and it occurs to me that some of you
might not want to come to my festivities without first seeing the
snail shell goblet in order to ensure that it would even be worth
your while to visit.

Pish posh I say to you. For I have a picture…an image so to speak
…of a snail shell goblet…made in the first half of the 17th
century. It is 25.8 cm high and is housed in the Wurttembergisches
Landesmuseum in Stuttgart, Germany. By a show of hands…who wants to
see this gem of which I speak? Hmmm? Well okay then.

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: Snail…where you will see a rendering of a snail

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