יום שישי, 8 בנובמבר 2013

The Necklace


About a month ago the antiques market came to town. Wandering around amid rows of chipped china teapots, Libration War medals, and an assortment of yellowing knickknacks, I couldn't help but feel I was being transported into a time gone by. On that particular day, there market was filled with budding jewelry designers and veteran collectors, displaying earrings, bracelets and necklaces of every shape, style and price range. And being in a highly nostalgic mood, I couldn't help but recall one of my favorite stories about jewelry- Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace".

I therefore decided to take out my phone camera and snap photos of the most beautiful and unique necklaces that caught my attention that day.



In this gripping short story, the 19th century French modernist writer and social critic tells the tale of a middle-class woman who dreams of grandeur and who pays a devastating price for one striking piece of jewelry. Re-reading it each time, I'm always torn between my sympathy for a woman who is passionate about beauty and esthetics, and my anger for that Victorian man who hints that female vanity can actually destroys lives. After all- for me, the real moral of the story is: Know your gems from your zircons! Nevertheless, since I do believe beauty can come at any price range, I made sure to photograph only those necklaces that cost a maximum of 150 Israeli Shekels (42 dollars!), so that none of us suffers the same fate as Maupassant's unfortunate heroine.



"First she saw some bracelets, then a pearl necklace, then a Venetian cross in gold and gems, of exquisite workmanship. She tried the effect of the jewels before the mirror, hesitating, unable to make up her mind to leave them, to give them up. She kept on asking: 'Haven't you anything else?' "            
          -- Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace". 1884 -- 



"Madame Forestier went to her dressing-table, took up a large box, brought it to Madame Loisel, opened it, and said:  'Choose, my dear'."



 Not all the necklaces I encounter were of the same style; some seemed more vintage and romantic, while others were whimsical and pop-arty like this amusing plastic Goniometer necklace. True, this is far from what de Maupassant's contemporaries could've ever imagined, but I wouldn't put it past Andy Warhol to get a kick out of it. And it almost made me miss geometry lessons at school…almost.

Collected and presented by Israeli college student and avid jewelry collector and designer Rachely Aharonoff


But being a fan of everything and anything Victorian, I went home with this imitation of a typically Victorian "Silhouette cut" broach, which went for the unbelievable price of a measly 10 Israeli Shekels (just under three dollars!). I'm sure that even de Maupassant would be proud of my uncharacteristic female frugality. (Insert chuckle...)


Collected and presented by Israeli college student and avid jewelry collector and designer Rachely Aharonoff


Contrary to de Maupassant's disillusioned heroine- poor Madam Loisel- who had a brand new dress made and then desperately searched for a necklace to match, I did it the other way round: finding my vintage looking broach, I yearned for a dress to match. Luckily found just such a dress in one of the stores of the Israeli Boho Chic fashion brand "The Third Eye".

"She imagined vast saloons hung with antique silks, exquisite pieces of furniture supporting priceless ornaments, and small, charming, perfumed rooms, created just for little parties of intimate friends, men who were famous and sought after, whose homage roused every other woman's envious longings."



That dress caught my eye, not only because of its highly sexy red and black coloring, but also because of the swirly vine print which is very reminiscent of late Victorian dress embroidery. With my Victorian broach and dress, I could now dive into my 19th century dream without regretting the price.  

"Madam Loisel was a success. She was the prettiest woman present, elegant, graceful, smiling and quite above herself with happiness."

 




                                                                                    

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