Tuesday, April 26, 2016

DROMEDARIES & LAPIDARIES: A JEWELER'S DESERT FANTASY


Gustav Manz's scenic "Desert Brooch" (c. 1901-3) traveled to some notable venues, including the National Arts Club and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri. According to the entry form submitted to the Exposition by jeweler and exhibitor F. Walter Lawrence (who commissioned the piece), the fragment of "Phoenician glass" framed by miniature palms and a train of camels came out of the Old City of Jerusalem.

More astonishing, that ancient city itself would be replicated on ten acres of the fairground, featuring 1:1 scale models of the Wailing Wall, Tower of David, and a cast of Moslem, Christian, and Jewish concessionaires hired to walk around in traditional garb herding livestock, enacting ye olde handicrafts, and performing religious rituals!

Perhaps one of their delegation purchased the Manz brooch as a reverse souvenir before heading home, for it has not surfaced publicly since the photo above was shot for a spread in Town & Country magazine a few months prior to the fair's opening day, April 30, 1904.

Click here to read Professor Milette Shamir's illustrated account of the Jersusalem Exhibit. More about Gustav Manz's jewelry at the fair in our earlier post OLYMPIC DREAMS


Recreation of Jaffa Gage, Jerusalem, World's Fair
 St. Louis (St. Louis Public Library)


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