If not for a shell, the beauty of porcelain would be known by a completely different name. In fact, it was Marco Polo who forever linked the two together. In his book Il Milione, also known as The Travels of Marco Polo, the famous Venetian trader compared the fascinating lustrous sheen of the Chinese ceramic he discovered in the Far East to that of the mother-of-pearl surface of a cowrie shell. At the time, the cowrie shell was well-known since it was used as currency in many parts of Asia, Africa and India and in the old Italian language it went by the term “porcellana”. Marco Polo’s book was a huge best seller by 14th century standards and was widely distributed in Europe and, as result, the word porcellana became synonymous with this intriguing new discovery from China.
How fitting, therefore, that seven centuries later, the Herend manufactory is paying homage to the link between shells and porcelain by immortalizing the world’s largest bivalve mollusk. A native of the south pacific and Indian Ocean, the giant clam can grow to be 4 feet long and over 500lbs. Their size is attributed to a steady diet of the sugars and proteins produced by the millions of algae living in the clam’s tissue. While Herend’s interpretation is not quite that healthy, it does highlight the pearlized surface that first drove Marco Polo’s comparison. Below the shiny core is a base of blue fishnet with 24K gold highlights.
Limited Edition Size 250. Measures 8" l. x 10 ¼" w.
Item #: VHB05247000
Sterling Silver Bird, Looking Straight Ahead
Handmade in Italy with techniques used since the 17th century, including remarkably realistic feathering and gold vermeil beaks. Each has multiple feather styles for wings, tail and body.
Measures 3" w x 2" h
18k White Gold Square Crystal Bracelet with Blue Topaz & Diamonds
A divine bracelet unrivaled in its purity and majesty. The bracelet consists of seven carved cabochon crystals, as well as sky blue topaz and 0.84 carats of brilliant diamonds, all set in 18k white gold. Measures 7 3⁄8" long. Handmade in America.
Cabinets, Bookcases & Chests
Four Drawer Mahogany Serpentine Chest
A luxurious mahogany chest with a serpentine front and four dovetailed drawers. Handcrafted of fine mahogany with a rich, clean finish. Antiqued drawer pulls are solid brass. Handmade in England exclusively for Scully & Scully.
Measures 18"w x 14"d x 29"h.
Home Decor Accessories
Fabric-Covered Wastebasket with Blue Dragon
Exceptionally pretty yet highly practical with fabric and braid trim over wipe-clean plastic. Made in America.
Measures &frac914;” diameter x 12” h.
Crystal & Glassware
Flatware & Serving Pieces
Baccarat Heritage Check Bowl
This large clear crystal bowl with bold, graphic cuts is typical of the modernist style of the Art Deco period. The fine horizontal bevel cuts richly embellish and enrich the bowl by multiplying light reflections. Handmade mouth-blown crystal from France.