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Jeweled Bugs and Butterflies

Nissenson, Marilyn;Jonas, Susan

7 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0810935236 / ISBN 13: 9780810935235
Published by Harry N Abrams Inc, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., 2000
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

With a black dot on the bottom edge, otherwise a fine hardcover first edition copy in a fine, mylar protected DJ, black spine. Bookseller Inventory # 062780

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Jeweled Bugs and Butterflies

Publisher: Harry N Abrams Inc, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition

About this title


With more than 150 fanciful creations on display in dazzling color photographs, more than half of which are shown here for the first time. With a whimsical text that presents remarkable facts and lore about insects in the natural world.


Tarantulas may be creepy, but not when they're made of gold, diamonds, and jewel-toned enamel. Wasps, beetles, flies, and bees have all perched on stylish lapels with never so much as a nervous swipe in their direction. The history of jewelry based on insects dates back to the scarabs (dung beetles) of ancient Egypt, worn as amulets for protection in the afterlife. But it wasn't until the advent of art nouveau at the turn of the 20th century that insect life began to buzz through the fashion world in a big way.

Some of the loveliest pieces in Jeweled Bugs and Butterflies are the work of René Lalique, a French artist whose childhood was spent sketching butterflies, wasps, bumblebees, and beetles. He combined a knack for heady atmospheric detail (gold beetles scattered on a carved horn "fern," a blue glass bee poised on an abalone shell "lily") with such brilliant enamel techniques as plique-à-jour, a method of suspending enamel between soldered wires to create areas of translucent color.

Larded with 127 color illustrations of fabulous--often witty, sometimes over-the-top--bug jewelry, this little gem of a book also offers a sober introduction to the real insect kingdom. There are 750,000 species of these hardy creatures, which adapt themselves to extremes of climate and location, and have proven to be invaluable allies to humans as well as pests. But to date none have joined forces with the sinuous gold female figures of the art nouveau craftsmen: winged images of sex and death that remain one of the most original jewelry motifs. --Cathy Curtis

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