Friday, October 8, 2010
"Exquisite Details"

The Photo Friday theme this week is 'burgundy'. No doubt, some photographers will offer elegant views of burgundy wine, softly lit, with maybe some cheese and bread beside it. I might have arranged such a scene, but I went to my photo archives to look for purplish red items. Rubies exhibit a lovely burgundy color, and this beautiful jeweled pin is exquisite:

Turban Ornament (Sarpech), Mughal period, India, 1750-1800
Gold, sapphires, and rubies inset in the kundan technique, with polychrome enamel (minakari)
5 x 6.5 x 1.7 cm (2 x 2 1/2 x 5/8 in.)
James W. and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection, Art Institute of Chicago 289.1996

While looking through my photo folders, I found a few other items with exquisite details:

Ruyi sceptre from China
18th century, Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign
Gold, turquoise, silk, H: 24.4 W: 6.0 D: 4.3 cm
Freer/Sackler F1937.45
"Ruyi (as you wish) scepters were auspicious gift items for birthdays and other special occasions in China. The scepter is shaped after the lingzhi, a woody fungus that had been sought for its magical power to grant immortality long before the rise of religious Daoism. This artifact was among a set of desk ornament belonging to the Qing emperor Qianlong (reigned 1736-96). It is adorned with turquoise inlays of bats, peaches and the Buddhist symbol of an endless knot, which repectively symbolize good fortune, immortality, and eternal faith." (From info card - photographed 2007)

Ritual Conch
Eastern Tibet or Mongolia, Himalayas, 18th century
Shell with silver fittings inlaid with coral, jade, and turquoise; silk tassels, 15 1/2 x 8 1/4 x 4 1/2 in. (39.4 x 20.95 x 11.43 cm)
Gift of The Michael J. Connell Foundation LACMA (M.77.111.2)
Net-Pattern Bowl
Unknown artist, Parthian, 100 - 1 BCE Silver, gold, and garnet, 7 7/8 in.
Getty 86.AM.752.3
"This elaborate bowl is a remarkable example of the achievements of ancient silversmiths. The pattern is composed of rows of staggered pentagons, each with a unique floral design and a central garnet." (From info card)

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