my Etsy Storque post on pearls, which went up while I was away.
I was stunned by how many people commented and how many people love pearls. I especially enjoyed the comments about thinking that pearls were stodgy. Steve (Bloom--author of Tears of Mermaids: The Secret Life of Pearls, who I interviewed for the story) made the point that while Barbara Bush wore pearls, so did Audrey Hepburn.
While I was in Spain I was especially attuned to looking at art with pearls in mind. Steve told me that pearl obsession was part of what drove Queen Isabella of Spain to push Columbus to explore the New World, and that areas of the Caribbean were essentially stripped of their pearls by early explorers who could take them back to Europe and make a pile 'o dough selling them. Indeed, when I looked at paintings in the Prado, I noted pearls woven in women's hair and stitched to their gowns.
Circle of Sofonisba Anguissola (Cremona 1527-1626 Palermo), and is not actually in the Prado, but does show her wearing a number of pearls.)
More on Spain next...soon...really, I mean it!