Friday, 23 November 2012

Heritage of a Richer Blue

You may well ask about the juxtaposition of an old French manuscript and a piece of Georg Jensen jewellery, and if you carry on reading you'll find out. It's as a result of our online launch of the new selection of Georg Jensen Heritage products for 2013; this will be the 26th edition of the Heritage Collection, and I have just uploaded the latest additions, two new pendants, ear hooks and ear clips, each embellished with Lapis Lazuli and silver stone.

The use of Lapis maybe considered a departure for contemporary Georg Jensen designs, gemstones range from the subtle tints of pretty Amethyst and Rose Quartz, to the enigmatic metallic hues of Moonstone, from dense shining Agate to the dramatic zinging colour of Orange Chalcedony; but it is a direct recognition of the use of Lapis in Georg Jensen’s original Art Nouveau designs.

The deep mysterious yet vibrant blue of Lapis makes it a most compelling gem-stone.The name comes from the Latin 'lapis' meaning stone, and the Arabic for blue 'azula' and yet it is so much more than that simple description suggests.

Lapis Lazuli is relatively rare and lapis jewellery has been found in burial sites in Mehrgarh, one of the most important Neolithic (7000 BCE to c. 2500 BCE) sites in archaeology. In ancient Egypt, Lapis Lazuli was favoured for amulets and ornaments such as scarabs and was used for jewellery and seals in many ancient civilisations - Cleopatra used powdered Lapis for eyeshadow.
However, whenever I think of Lapis I think of the pictures from The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry a French Illuminated  manuscript from the late 1400's. Richly coloured it is the intense Lapis Lazuli and Cobalt blues that really stand out and make the images fizz with energy.



I've coupled the new Heritage pendant with one of the images, and although the reproduction of the blues can in no way get across the iridescence of the colour it is a reminder (for me) of a tiny part of the history of this extraordinary gem stone.

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