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The Power Of The Pearl II

Welcome back to this the second part of The Power of the Pearl.

The real difference between preppies and Wasps is not couture but outlook. Preppies are infantile and optimistic, forever stuck at age seventeen; Wasps emerge from the womb wrinkly and cautious, already vice presidents, already fifty-two.

Tad Friend, Cheerful Money.

I add this quote at this time because I want to plant this idea into your mind as we move forward.

I hope that by keeping this in the forefront of your mind, it will help you settle your thoughts about your beliefs about the role that the pearl has and continues to play in your life. In my family, pearls have come to mean different things to each of us. The time, the place, the person all  change, what remains is a sacred bond.

Now, where did we leave off, Oh, yes…

The years of 1620 through the year 1635.  Outside of any personal journals, we have no idea of the exact items  that accompanied the settlers  on their journey. I stop briefly in the year of 1635  as that is the year of the first record by one of my family members of a set of six strands of almost matching pearls. Through out the successive years to the present we have only managed to lose one complete strand due to theft by the jeweler that was doing a stringing  in 1918, of that strand sixty remained only to be lost when Granny G. dancing a raucous  Black bottom in 1924 managed to whack  her partner with the strand  sending the remaining pearls into the crowed.

In the 1920s Kokichi Mikimoto, harvested the first commercially viable cultured pearls, forever changing the landscape of the world of pearls. Mikimoto perfected a method of creating and reproducing spherically round pearls. Mikimoto’s method is still in use today. In the 1920s natural pearls were very rare. J.D. commissioned a strand of 63 perfectly matched natural pearls to be strung, it took the jeweler 10 years to assemble them. With the natural supply being so low and Mikimoto’s process being viable the  modern era of the round, cultured, pearl was born with all the gusto and excitement of the 20’s and 30’s.

Soon it was not just the superrich that could afford these little bobbers but the simple rich as well. Imitation pearls flourished and became a symbol of the age. The 20’s and 30’s were a fun time for the pearl. This was soon to change.

The time 1935 to 1947 was a time for seriousness, as the country sank into deep resolve, and for the first time since the beginning of the 20th century the pearl the took on new meaning…immense loss.

Now, let us turn our attention to the 1960’s,  the new First Lady of the United States of America Jacqueline Kennedy. Although not a WASP, she represents to the world what America is all about.

Jacqueline, like her counterpart Bunny Boleyn, ( we met her in the first part of this series  ) brought the pearl back into vogue with the masses. The love affair, with this outstanding woman and her pearls truly began on the day of her wedding, when she wore a single strand of pearls.


Through out her life, she and the pearl would dominate the landscape of American culture.

Kenneth Jay Lane, would go on to design and create many pearl pieces for Jacqueline-Kennedy-Onassis

The most famous would be a three strand faux-pearl necklace, designed by Coco Chanel and created by Kenneth Jay Lane. This would be her signature piece.

Every woman needs to have one signature   piece, one piece of jewelry that defines her to the world. For the Preppy and WASP this one piece is a pearl necklace.

It seems that there are three constants whether one is a Northern or Southern bred WASP or Preppy, Male or Female we are known by our mannerisms, dress and jewelry. Many are the times that a non-wasp will advance our culture. In mannerisms… ( for the men ) William F. Buckley, in dress and jewelry ( women ) Jackie O. she gave us the pearl as well as  Lilly Pulitzer


I will end this portion of the narrative by reminding you of the fact the until recent times the pearl was the number one gem given as engagement rings, not the diamond. The Pearl is also the gem stone for the month of June, the most popular time for weddings.

In the next part of this series, I will explore the statement I made in the beginning, To understand the pearl is to understand the very soul of the WASP and Preppy.

Please also join me at my sister site. The Preppy Chronicles II

The Preppy Chronicles Edition II Volume II Part II


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Posted by on December 7, 2010 in All that's Preppy/WASP

 

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The Power Of The Pearl I

Welcome to this edition of The Preppy Chronicles.

In this edition I will delve into the world of Pearls and the power of the Pearl in the life of the  WASP and Preppy.  I will at this time concede that I cannot possibly present a complete treaties on the subject. However, with that said, I have decided that to give you my best effort I must break this subject into 3 intertwined posts. The first and second will give you a base of understanding of the history of the pearl in our culture,  the third will explore the mystery that captures the very heart, the very essence of who we are, to understand the Pearl is to understand the soul of the WASP and Preppy.

As most of you are aware, this blog is not about teaching you how to dress and act like a WASP or a Preppy  but rather, the various physiological patterns behind our dress and actions

The Pearl speaks volumes about  our belief system and the  world in which we the WASP and the Preppie live.

The WASP lives by the inner mantra… Love The Pearl… Be The Pearl, Love The Pearl… Be the Pearl, Love the Pearl……

Now,

Shall we all hold hands,

Sing a song,

Pass the basket and drink the Kool-aid?

You can laugh now.

The historiography of the pearl is very extensive and interesting, but given the narrow scope of this particular narrative it is of secondary importance. We shall begin our journey with these two.

For those that have no clue that would be Henry the VIII and the always effervescent Anne Boleyn.

For the purpose of this narrative, I will be referring to Henry as Kipper, and I will refer to Anne, as the lovely Bunny Boleyn.

Kipper came to the throne in the year of 1503, being a lustful and reckless 17-year-old  boy. A most powerful lust, for all that is beautiful, and out of his reach, took control of young Kipper and he lived life with great zeal and abandon [ that is WASP speak for:  Kipper has a problem, he has a strong addiction to Power, Sex, Money, Food, and Collecting ] In his obsessive quest, he amassed a great deal of jewels including Pearls.

Kipper, very much liked his pearls and was always giving them to the women that he collected. Enter the lovely Bunny Boleyn. Shall we leave it at this ‘ Bunny like her pearls ‘ not the vernacular of the day, but I am the one telling this story.

Bunny Boleyn did for the Pearl, what Jackie Kennedy did for Lilly Pulitzer.  Bunny was and still is an iconic figure. From all the accounts that I have read, she was well-loved by the population and followed by the paparazzi of her day. She took the pearl, which is the worlds oldest known gem, and made it sexy and classy, truly something to be desired. Bunny popularized the pearl in her life and sealed its fate with her death.

The Pearl has always stood for Power, Wealth and Position. I think that we all have seen Botticelli’s  ” The Birth of Venus “, this masterpiece from the year 1486, also reaffirms the concept that the Pearl also symbolized Pure love, and that the pearl was somehow connected to the deepest part of a humans soul, connecting us to the Divine.

And with a swoosh we move forward, first however, we must step back for a bit of information that will be  vital to the overall understanding. The pearl is a natural occurrence, more about that later. The important bit here is that the Chinese have ‘ cultured  ‘the pearl since the 5th century  by attaching objects to the inside of the shell creating what is known as a Blister Pearl. In the 1920s Kokichi Mikimoto created a market for the Akoya or the unattached  Pearl. The overall relevance of this bit of  knowledge will become much clearer in the next installment.

This will be our starting point in the next edition, I will also discuss Pilgrims, pearls and the present. In the third installment we will explore the mental, emotional and often times irrational connection that the American WASP and Preppy have to this the oldest of gems. We will also explore such aspects as the role of the pearl in the sex lives of the WASP and Preppy.

Please join me at my sister site  The Preppy Chronicles II

Always,Bumby

The Preppy Chronicles Edition II Volume II

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2010 in All that's Preppy/WASP

 

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