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[Tidbits] The Surrealist's Eagle


The Surrealist’s Eagle

He was expelled from the Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid. He
understood the importance of being center stage. He once threw himself
down a flight of stairs at school and thereafter held everyone’s
attention whenever he stood at the top them. He was the ‘enfant
terrible’ of Surrealism…though he was considered by some of his
peers to have become too commercial. He was a painter… a sculptor
…an illustrator…and a movie maker. Once…when I was a young
man…he was having an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in
Manhattan along with a sculptor who worked in gold. I was the diamond
setter for that sculptor and was invited to the showing and introduced
as such. Oh…it was a heady time indeed. The Pav� setter–moi–the
Sculptor…and the Surrealist…though not necessarily in that order

His two best known films were “Le Chien Andalou” and “L’Age D’Or”
…made in 1929 and 1931 respectively. Our hero was born in 1904 in
Figueras, Catalonia, Spain. He was the best known advocate for the
Neo-Surrealist movement in Paris. His work has been shown in Europe,
in the United States, and in the Orient. His is…in the public’s
eye…the most recognized name in Surrealism. He aggrandized the
superiority of subconscious expression. He chose an eagle for this
jewelry creation of his which you will all soon see.

So then…why an eagle…a question I am sure is in the minds of one
and all. Maybe because this highest flying and most regal of birds was
thought to be able to reach and communicate with the sun. Maybe
because it symbolized the Sun-gods and the spiritual nature of man.
The eagle crosses the paths of many mythologies. It was sacred to
Odin…the Norse god. It was sacred to the Greek god Zeus and to the
Roman god Jupiter. In Hindu myth…the eagle is the solar bird that
Vishnu rode. It was the bird of stormcloud and lightning to the Native
Americans. It was their Thunderbird… a divine creature living above
the clouds. For the Celts…the eagle was thought to be among the
oldest of animals. And for the Americans…the eagle…the bald
eagle…is the symbol of their country.

Is it a wonder then that our artist…our great artist…Salvatore
Dali by name…is it a wonder then that he chose an eagle for the
subject matter of this piece of fashion jewelry…this compact of
unknown metal…created circa 1950 for Elgin American?

The head of our bird pulls off and becomes a lipstick holder. The
wings spread to unveil a powder container. And the tail pulls out to
reveal a pill box. Ladies…rip the little beastie’s guts out… and
cater to your savage side…and you’ll find nothing but goodies.

The item sold…in them thar days…for around $350.00. Today…with
inflation…wait wait till I get my little portable abacus
out…today it is worth much much more. I hope none of you thought I
was going to give you an actual dollar worth. I need someone else out
there to tell me what $350.00 in the 1950’s is worth today. Not
counting–of course-- the artistic value of the piece itself.

Well…there it is my friends. For those of you who are new to this
thing called Tidbits…may I direct you to my home page at 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: Eagle…where you will
see a rendering of unknown metal of Sal’s compact.

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
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