Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday's Treasures: Cleopatra's Blue Goddess Necklace

Cleopatra's Blue Goddess Necklace
Today is such a treat, I've been waiting to unveil this little beauty for over 2 weeks! This is the newest necklace for my NeoAmour designer collection. It is inspired by the enigmatic Cleopatra, ruler of ancient Egypt. The Egyptians are very well known for their beautiful ancient jewelry - many pieces are found to have multiple strands, along with talismans and decorative pendants (seems they were quite ahead of the times in more than just architecture). Jewelry is depicted on many of the ancient tombs. It was a symbol of power, wealth and standing, and Cleopatra's jewelry would have been no different.

This necklace started out with this dramatic and unique focal bead, purchased from Louise of Fireseed (http://www.fireseed.etsy.com). She makes the most amazing beads, and I usually have a hard time sticking to a set spending limit (but it is ALWAYS worth going over budget to get her beads!!). I saw this incredible goddess bead over a year ago and fell in love with it, though I didn't quite know what to do with it until chance brought a few bags of stone beads and the pendant bead all in the same place at the same time. 

I started doing inventory in December (I still haven't finished, don't remind me, haha!), and as I pulled out a few bags of beads to count, they spilled into each other. I was about to curse when I took a second look and, well, Eureka! is the word that comes to mind now. A vibrant mix of turquoise, amber, lapis lazuli (Cleopatra used to grind up lapis lazuli to use as her eye makeup!), black Czech glass beads and brass-plated pewter findings all came together to create this 3-strand masterpiece.

I had been reading a brief history of Cleopatra and was thinking how brave she must have been to have accomplished everything she did. I wanted to make a necklace that would show her love of her country, her bravery, yet also show her vulnerable side. These beads spoke to me and said, "Make us into something Cleopatra would have loved..."

Cleopatra's history is long and the accounts vary depending on who does the telling - many were simply trying to discredit her for their own ends, as was (and is) common. Many said that she was an evil seductress. More likely is that she was a powerful, intelligent woman trying to find a powerful, intelligent man to help her stabilize her rule in a very unstable time.
Cleopatra's Blue Goddess Necklace

The goddess has always been a symbol of femininity and fertility, and I thought that this would be a perfect fit in a necklace for a young Cleopatra. By the time she was eighteen, she had witnessed her two sisters assassinations (they had each tried to take the throne from their father), her father's death, the decline of the Egyptian empire into perilous debt to Rome (thanks to her father) and had been forced to marry her own 12 year old brother. When Caesar came to Egypt to try to sort out Egypt's problems, I can see Cleopatra wearing a necklace like this to symbolize her fertility and womanhood. At that time, one of the only ways to stay safe on her throne would be to have outside help, and a strong man like Caesar would have been just the person to help her (he did, and she had his son, Cesarion).

This is a one of a kind necklace. I can never get the exact same goddess bead again, so if you like this necklace, please get it while you can.

This necklace is now available for sale on my Etsy site: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleStudioJewels?ref=si_shop. Please take a look and get it while you can. I may have enough beads to make a matching necklace or earrings, please contact me if you are interested.

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