On exhibition at Sotheby's Galleries, London, from Sept 14 until Oct 8 is a spectacular display of "Art in Jewels" by Salvador Dali.
On exhibition at Sotheby's Galleries, London, from Sept 14 until Oct 8 is a spectacular display of "Art in Jewels" by Salvador Dali. Proceeds from the public exhibition will benefit the Institute of Child Health of the Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Organised by The Owen Cheatham Foundation, American owners of the 29-piece collection, the glittering exhibition represents Dali's attempts to revive an appreciation of the jeweller's art that has gradually diminished since the Czarist days of Carl Faberge.
Rubies and diamonds set in a golden honeycomb - "The Honeycomb Heart" - was created by Dali because "There's a little bit of sweetness in the heart of every women." "The Eye of Time" is a watch in three shades of blue enamel; round and baguette diamonds set in platinum; cabochon ruby. "The symbolization of radiance and life, the antithesis of decay and death", is a description given by Dali to his "Explosion" of diamonds, rubies and lapis lazuli. The "Tree of Life" bracelet is a creation of breathtaking beauty. Sculptured virgin gold leaves and boughs jewelled with diamonds.
Dali's first of three moving jewel creations. "The Royal Heart", was created in honour of the coronation of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. It is a large beaten gold heart with an electrically motivated pulsating centre of rubies which represents "the Queen, whose heart beats constantly for her people."
His second moving jewel, "The Living Flower", rises from a malachite base and shows a gold flower, with diamond paved petals. The lower bloom opens and closes rhythmically. Dali also designed the mechanism embedded in the malachite. This he describes as a "simple matter of weights and pulleys, which, when set in motion by electrical impulses, brings the flower to life."
Probably the most controversial of all his jewel creations is his 30-inch high "Angel Cross". The first of Dali's jewels to combine the arts of sculpture and painting, it is also the first of his religious jewels to show a figure on the cross. But it is not the figure of Christ. According to Dali it is "the angelic state achieved by man when he detaches himself completely from material surroundings."
Sculptured from virgin gold, the figure was then painted by Dali in oil with liquid amber. The base, crystallized zinc sulphite, embeds twelve diamond encrusted platinum spines, each moving in its own distinctive rhythm from its own individual, hidden, electrically driven motor. The structure of the gold cross rests atop a globe of lapis lazuli. The globe was cut from a foot-square block of lapis lazuli brought from Russia. The coral, rare for its size and vivid red colour, comes from China. The topaz is framed in gold and hinged to the cross to represent the gate of the tabernacle and the Gate of Heaven.