The Lure of the Jade happens to be the title of an obscure movie, apparently now lost, that came out in 1921 starring Pauline Fredericks and Thomas Holding and directed by Colin Campbell. It was indeed a dramatic tale of jilting, jade and jealousy. The heroine was obsessed by the beauty of her jade collection. Then, by chance at a dinner party, a guest boasts of his superior collection and the movie unfolds dramatically from there. The morality of the early 20th century is well illustrated and so is the demise to be suffered with any social impropriety, this after all was the era of ‘manners’. Oh, and the catalyst for all this is… Jade, that tantalizing seductress, the jade!
Hopefully, you have had the pleasure of viewing Galeria Namu’s jade collection: those fabulous pre Hispanic museum reproductions that we proudly display in the gallery and within our website. They are made by a fine artist who is recognized for his amazing work by the Jade Museum of Costa Rica, Dagoberto Quiros. He handles repairs and the making of reproduction pieces for visiting dignitaries. His fame is justified for he works the jade to its very best advantage to reflect the light within and to capture the liquid, warm beauty that is intrinsically jade. I can say unequivocally that of all our amazing art in the gallery, the jade pieces attract people in a way that can best be described as shamelessly irrational. If you ever doubted the magic of jade – and I assure you, the ancients for one, absolutely did not – let me share with you an anecdote:
One day, our renowned jade artist/reproductionist came by with some pieces which happened to also include something I had never seen from him before: a jade ring. I slipped it on my finger and, like a Cinderella slipper, it fitted perfectly. And there I was, bewitched! This generous circle of silver with a curved-oval piece of lucent jade boldly set into it took my breath away. Not thinking it would be suitable as a representative of the pre-hispanic jade art, I told Señor Quiros that I would buy it, but for myself.
Here’s what happened next. The public’s response to the ring gleaming on my finger was outrageous! This caused me to rethink my own understanding of the inherent magic of jade, and what a continuum that appeal is. People begged the ring off my finger… I was shocked and delighted. I eventually sold the ring right off my hand. The jade and silver ring is now a very popular staple in the gallery, confirming the continuing appeal of this precious stone. (available to required size)
Deeply attracting the original people of Central America it was deemed to be a mystical gem with inscrutable powers. The love of jade even surpassed the love of gold. The higher one’s rank, the more jade one had – and it wasn’t a hidden collection; it was flaunted with pride. It took the form of amulets and fetishes and as a talisman to protect against evil. The animistic animals of the pre-hispanic belief system were evoked in the imagery to grant the protection of the jaguar, the owl, the monkey, etc. Cults were also recognized in the jade imagery, for example the culto pico, the culto lagarto. These particular cults, or occult beliefs, revolved around the mystical powers attached to the imagery of birds and crocodiles, and believe me, the pieces are anything but straightforward in their fanciful fabrication and their inherent transformational spirituality.
See the images of these magical carved deities carved from our PreColumbian category and don’t miss the jade ring, it comes in any size you need and will make a beautiful gift, a most unusual ring. Although a picture hardly does the liquid translucence justice, check it out – if you dare!