6/28/2013

By the way, did you know ...


... what a protome is? A protome is "a decorative element, on ancient artefacts, based on the head of an animal or bust of a person".
Uh-huh. I can almost hear you asking why the heck I am telling you that. To show off with my amazing knowledge? Not at all. For me it was also the first time that I read this word.

Let me begin with my grandmother. I don't want to tell you stories about her (although I do have a bunch of good ones), but for my birthday my mother gave me a piece of jewelry that had belonged to her which makes it very special to me.

When my grandmother died many years ago, I also got a piece of jewelry that used to be her sister's and before that her sister's husband's first wife.
I had loved this bracelet as long as I can think back. I remember that when I was still a child, I believed they were dragon's heads, but it didn't hurt to find out they were indeed lions. That's where the protomes come in. Regarding its history the bracelet dates back to the 30s approximately. That's not ancient, but it's definitely vintage, and the lion heads are very obviously protomes. I found that out when I googled in the attempt to maybe find out even more (which I didn't, by the way).
Now you and I learned something new. The next time you go to a museum, impress the persons who are with you by saying "Oh, look at that door/cauldron/necklace/vessel/ring with the protomes on it." And if they call you a show-off, just smile smugly ;-)
Unfortunately the spring inside the bracelet is broken (who knows, maybe it was even me who broke it as a kid?), and I'm told it can't be repaired (I suspect the piece isn't expensive enough to do so). It doesn't matter, I just love looking at it.
And here's a picture of it now.


If you think I'm trying to distract from not working on new pieces myself, you are not right. I finished a small loomed wall hanging for a birthday, after a long time I made a new yarn basket pendant, this time with a tiny crochet hook, and I still can't decide if I should list my very first split loom pendant or if I should keep it for myself (today I am leaning towards keeping it, but who knows what I'll say tomorrow) and get to working on the next one right away.
Obviously I can't show you the wall hanging, but I have pictures of the pendant and the necklace.




There is also a little project that was inspired by a friend of mine. I won't show you the prototype now because I want to keep working on the design some more first.

8 comments:

  1. I like like learning new things. I just don't think that I will be able to remember the word for very long.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm confused, I was so sure I replied to this with a smart idea to remember the word ... but maybe Google didn't like my idea?
      I'll come up with new words every, now and then to confuse you completely, would that be alright? ;-)

      Delete
  2. Your protome lion's head bracelet is stunning, Cat! No wonder you love it so.

    The little basket is adorable and you did a wonderful job on your first split loomed piece.

    I didn't know what a protome was either - learned something new today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had fun writing this post, and I hope to be able and find more things that relate to my daily life to make us learn something we didn't expect! :-D

      Delete
  3. I love the little crochet basket, and the dragon's eye necklace is really impressive!

    If the bracelet is big enough to be a bangle, you could maybe close and stiffen the gap with polymer clay? It should be fairly easy to remove the clay again, so the bracelet wouldn't be ruined. But maybe that would be a little disrespectful? I just can't resist thinking up solutions... It's a really wonderful piece.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear!

      Unfortunately the bracelet has more of an oval shape and no matter how I try, my hand wouldn't make it through. I had the idea to add a bead in the middle, something that would fit the color and feel of the bracelet, but I guess it's not meant to be :-(
      I really wish I knew more about it, even if's not real gold or anything.

      Delete
    2. I'm guessing it's made of brass, there seems to be some green patina on it, and the tone in general looks like brass to me. Since it's probably not really, really old, the monetary value is probably not that high, but that doesn't reduce it's value or interest for you (or me). Maybe you should go to an antique show on TV, if you have one in Germany, so they could tell you more ;) I think there are plenty of clues for someone who has knowledge of the history of manufacturing methods (the ornament wrappings seem to have been pressed/embossed e.g.), and trends of course.

      I can also see from the full size image that it's too small for a bangle, maybe you could make a little purse and use it as a handle :)

      Delete
    3. Brass is what I thought, too. As I said, it must date back to the 30s as that is when my grandmom's sister got it. I doubt it's much older than that. I googled different word combinations, but haven't been lucky yet.
      Who knows, as we say here "The devil is a squirrel" meaning you never know what's going to happen! :-)

      Delete