Newsletter No. 5-07 (May. 2007)   Page 5 of 5 / Sidan 5 av 5. [back to page 1] Arcive/Arkiv: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Editors/Redaktion

This newsletter is written in order to spread experiences within the topic of historic textiles and reconstructions. Our ambition is to amuse you and stimulate interest in the 18th Century. Durán Textiles, who is mainly working with museum collections and Royal Castles, was founded in 2002 by CEO and production manager Laila Durán, with co-worker artist Torkel Henriksson who is doing the artworks and preparing the designs for production. Our production is done mostly in India supervised by Duran Textiles inspectors. 
- The articles are mainly written by Laila Durán but we also have help from colleagues and specialists from several museums and universities.  In the future this newsletter will be distributed four times a year and is free of charge. We hope you will enjoy our stories and offers and help us to spread the letter to friends and colleagues. Contact: www.durantextiles.com

Detta nyhetsbrev skrivs för att sprida erfarenheter inom ämnet rekonstruktioner av historiska textiler och 1700-talet. Ambitionen är att roa och stimulera intresset. Durán Textiles har varit verksamt sedan 2002 och arbetar med projekt för Kungliga Slott och museisamlingar i hela Skandinavien. Laila Durán är VD och projektledare, Torkel Henriksson arbetar med originalen och alla förlagor för tryck och väv. På plats i Indien, där de flesta av tygerna produceras, finns Durán Textiles egna inspektörer.
- Artiklarna skrivs huvudsakligen av Laila Durán men vi får även hjälp av kollegor och specialister från olika muséer och universitet.  Nyhetsbrevet kommer i fortsättningen att komma ut fyra gånger per år och är helt kostnadsfritt. Vi hoppas ni ska uppskatta våra artiklar och erbjudanden och även sprida informationen vidare till Era vänner. Kontakt: www.durantextiles.com


 

 

The Queen of Gems
By Laila Durán.

Through out history pearls have been attributed great powers and incorporated into mythology of virtually every culture that has encountered them. Given natural pearls’ rarity, as well as their splendid beauty and charm, who could argue that pearls might not indeed be a gift from the gods. “The Queen of Gems” possesses a history of allure far beyond what today’s wearer might recognize. A natural pearl necklace, comprised of matched spheres, was a treasure of most incomparable value. Since ancient times pearls has been the most expensive jewellery in the world. Before the creation of the cultured pearls in the early 19th century, natural pearls were so rare and expensive that only the nobles and very rich could dream of possessing such a treasure.

No one will ever know who were the first people to collect and wear pearls, but no matter the origin, a reverence for pearls spread throughout the world over the ensuing millennia. In Hindu culture, pearls were associated with the Moon and were symbols of love and purity. Hindu texts say that Krishna discovered the first pearl, which he presented to his daughter on her wedding day. Islamic tradition holds pearls in even higher regard. The Koran speaks of pearls as one of the great rewards found in paradise, and the gem itself has become the symbol of perfection. Christianity adopted the pearl as a symbol of purity and used it to adorn religious objects. Today we often associate pearls with brides and weddings – perhaps a concept dating all the way back to Krishna and his daughter.

Precious pearls have been the ultimate symbol of power and high-borne and royals wore pearls in every possible way, as jewellery, as crowns, and sewn on clothes. The largest pearls as brooches and with as many long matching strands as possible dangling from bosoms and headpieces. Through artwork lavish use of pearls has been recorded and centuries of paintings depicting nobles wearing robes of pearls.
A famous pearl now lost, or hidden away, was that of Charles I, King of England. Artist Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) painted several portraits of the king, many of which show a large drop pearl hanging from his left ear. In the portrait “Charles I, from Three Angels” (1636) a clear presentation of this great pearl is visible.
During the time of Queen Elisabeth I, the merchant prince known as Tomas Gresham was known to possess a large natural pearl. In a toast to his queen and to astound the Spanish ambassador, it is said that Sir Gresham crushed the pearl and drank it in a glass of wine.

The most famous pearl in the world is “La Reine De Pearls” or “La Pellegrina”. This large round pearl of a reported 27,5 carats was once part of the French crown jewels. It was listed in the crown jewel inventory in 1791 for an astonishing 200,000 francs. The listed description of the pearl states it as “a virgin pearl, perfect, round, and of fine water”. During the war of revolution, in 1792, the majority of the French crown jewels were stolen from the Garde-Meuble, and the thieves made away with the priceless gem. It has been told that the pearl made its way into the hands of the Zozima Brothers, jewellers of the Russian Tsar, who promptly renamed it “La Pellegrina” (The Incomparable).
“La Pellegrina” disappeared for a number of years, quietly tucked away by a collector, and resurfaced again in 1987 at an auction at Christie’s. The pearl sold at half a million US Dollars.

With the introduction of improved techniques for faceting gemstones precious stones such as diamonds became as popular as pearls or more during the 18th century. Particularly among the royal families the women would wear pearl and diamond parures – matched sets of necklace, bracelets, earrings and brooches. By the early 19th century, the discovery of a new pearl bed in the Pacific brought about a renewed interest in pearls. This time it was the growing middle class in Europe and the US who developed an interest – and had the money to buy them. The seed pearl imported from India and China had become the pearl of choice and jewellers worked with pearls strung on silk or white horse hair. The resulting piece of jewellery was so delicate it often resembled lace, and they were considered a symbol of purity and gentility.

At the beginning of the 20th Century, people in Europe and the US started to wear pearls for less formal occasion, a fashion that persists to this day. Flappers of the 1920s wore long ropes of pearls as they danced the Charleston. New design in jewellery, reflecting Art Nouveau, emphasized irregularly shaped freshwater pearls. Imitation pearls were in fashion and Coco Channel mixed her faux jewellry with the pearls making it a gem to be worn at daytime. In the 1930s the Japanese cultured pearls reached the European and American market, although the gems did not become highly popular again until the late fifties when Jacqueline Kennedy brought them back in to vogue.

Sources:
“The perfect pearl” by Fred Ward.
www.wilkipedia.com
www.pearl-guide.com

 

 


The Kitchnere Portrait of Elizabeth I.

Sir Walter Raleigh in a black and white outfit liberally embellished with pearls. Slung nonchalantly over his shoulder is a beautiful black velvet cloak lined with sable fur, its surface embroidered with sun rays worked in seed pearl ending in a pearl trefoil.

French aristocratic court dress of 1778 adorned with pearls.

“Charles I, King of England, from Three Angles” by Anthony van Dyck.

Louisa Ulrika of Preussen painted by Lorens Pasch.

“Girl with Pearl Earring” painted by Johannes Vermeer.

Jaqueline Kennedy wearing her famous pearl necklace.

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