Eyptian Elegance
2 tall cats on walrus ivory

If any breed can be said to echo the lovely elegance of Egyptian cats, it would be the Abyssian, and its long-haired cousin the Somali. I absolutely adored the bronze Egyptian cat sculptures—I believe there was a nice on at the DIA, and of course that part of the museum was my very favorite as a child: I was particularly fascinated not by the mummies, but by the magnificent beaded collars and the frescos: that stiff, flat graphic style remains a favorite even now.

the pendant on the left, not including eyepin, is 35x19x4mm. Though it looks badly cracked, in fact the crack is no more than .5mm deep, if that, and doesn't affect the structural integrity of the piece. Lampblack ink, walrus ivory, goldfill eyepin. late 1980s?

Getting the curve of the spine just right was always a particular pleasure: I adored Hugh Lofting's Dr. Doolittle books, and in one, a famous painter shows a rotten sidewalk artist how to draw properly. He says something along the lines of ‘Great Scott, man, that's not how a cat's spine curves!’[1] That memory would float up, when I made these pendants: more to the point, at least for accuracy, was at that time we had two cats, one a long, lean, graceful and aloof creature I always suspected had some Oriental in her and who was the model or at the very least the inspiration for these, just as the other, a stockier, ordinary and friendly tabby was a model for the sleeping tabby series.

photo, file 14jan10, intro 25jan10

[1]He then proceeds to correct the destitute man's work, and when a crowd offers to purchase it, tell him not to sell it not a penny less than x (40?) pounds—thereby setting the fellow up for life. Dr. Doolittle's part, of course, was to get the two together;)