I have lots of photographic collaborations to show you, but I first I wanted to talk a little more about the process of making the Pandora's box amulet and share with you the lookbook of this summer collection. It is finally here in its entirety (I've left the comments open, I would be so happy to hear thoughts on this collection and photos :) ) :
The Pandora's box amulet is an idea that came to me seeing a small object of the family heirloom: nothing of value: simply a miniature tin box, shaped like a bible.
The desire to make a box was also a technical challenge, since I am a “self taught” at metal working. So I went on what we all learned in geometry at school: make a paper box and translate it with brass sheets. The brazing was not an easy task either, since I wanted to weld several items at once. So I chose after several attempts to rivet the bottom of the box, which gives the object a little more cachet, I think. The last part was tricky too: to set up the tiny hinge, again I was inspired by the little box-book. In the making of the “pattern” of the box I left strips of metal, which allowed me to assemble the box-lid and the box by bending the strips of metal and wind them around a brass rod (instead of welding the tubes on the box).
See the details in the pictures:
And only later, while leafing through the books in the inspiring book collection of my mother (also a jeweler), I've realized that there are so many styles of miniature box and their symbolism in so many different cultures are always so beautiful. They are often related to religion and the sacred. I was particularly fascinated by these little Iranian boxes (Fig. 3) which were attached to the upper arm and contained either a miniature Koran or phrases from it.
All these boxes are really amulets and I was happy to finally discover the symbolism of the bird that I chose to weld inside each of these boxes:
"This theme [the bird], it is true, is common in Egypt and Iran. These two cultures united by Islam and associated by many exchanges, did not ignored each other. From Iran, but perhaps also from Byzantium, Egypt borrowed this theme of the mythical bird, the bearer of the soul or the spirit messenger of the Superiors Heaven of Being. The bird was often figured on the dais or on the umbrella of the sovereign, the bird plays a symbolic role in the ceremonial of Oriental courts, weather they are installed on the Nile or on the southern shores of the Caspian. "
Bijoux d’Orient, Patti Cadby Birch collection, exhibition catalog in L’Institut du monde arabe (1999, 23 of March - 25th of April).
1. Tibet - Earrings. Gold, turquoise and glass paste. H: 18 (bottom right) and 5.5 cm (middle)
The right earring, which was kept in the box shown above, was worn on the left ear by the Tibetan dignitaries. The other earring was reserved for notables from Lhasa. A Tibetan proverb says that one who has no holes in the ears, is doomed to be reborn as a donkey.
2. Tibet - miniature boxes.
3. Iran - Bracelets. Silver and turquoise, and iron damascened with gold - L. 7.2 cm - The Bazuband were worn on the upper-arm and contained miniature Koran or some Surat, especially those about God's protection.
These three last photos are from the book Schätze ferner Welten by Meinrad Maria Grewenig, published by the Historisches Museum der Pfalz.