Sunday, October 30, 2011

Turn to Stone

TURN TO STONE:  Ahhhh, amethyst!  The most striking member of the quartz family.  Did you know that the Greek words 'amethystos' mean 'not intoxicated'?  How can we not become intoxicated by its extravagant violet colorations running from pale, almost colorless to deep rich purple?  The Ancient Greeks loved amethyst so  much that many of their sagas and stories involve this stone -- such as the goddess Diana turning a nymph whom Bacchus loved into an amethyst. Colorful revenge indeed!  And then there's the rich yellow hues of the citrine -- a stone whose properties include dispelling sadness and anger, as well as making men handsome and intelligent and turning sterile women into fertile and happy ones. (I would no longer be sad, either, if I were transformed into handsome and intelligent too!)  But the real magical properties of these two stones happen when they come together -- and no one made more extraordinary jewelry than the late great Tony Duquette.  Feast your eyes on this dazzling bracelet and brooch rendered in amethyst, citrine and 18 carat gold. Try as you may, you cannot go too deep into the world of the decorative arts of the 20th century without intersecting with the name Duquette, so entrenched is his singularly unique aesthetic and its influence in our design culture.  That Duchess of Windsor necklace, for example?  And now the book Tony Duquette Hutton Wilkenson Jewelry from Abrams has arrived to save ourselves from all that is common.  FINAL NOTE: When you want to be lifted out of your doldrums and sparkle both inside and outside, you can always turn to stone!