Eye to Eye
Frans Lanting, a Dutch American photographer, delivers yet another extraordinary book drawn from time spent alongside African waterholes, Antarctic beaches, and North Pacific islands, among other locales. Lanting chronicles the lives of residents such as the aye-aye of Madagascar, the elephant seal of California, and the caiman of Brazil. He favors an up-close and personal approach to his work, and his aptly titled Eye to Eye, made up of 140 color plates, captures the essential qualities of various animals. The subjects did not always appreciate posing for him; while making his images Lanting was challenged by African elephants, sniffed at by lions, and shunned by macaws."
Photography by Frans Lanting
Egyptian Scarab Pendent
To the ancients scarab beetles symbolized
eternity and regeneration. Scarabs adorn the power amulets of the pharaohs and
their queens. The backs have a magic incantation in hieroglyphics.
Material: Egyptian Silver
Size: 3/4" x 5/8"
Our set of three china elephants pose admirably with sweet expression and
dignified stature, even though they are small enough to fit in the palm of your
hand. The father, mother and baby are rare white elephants with royal blue
trappings, each with its trunk up in triumph.
The Legend of the White Elephant
Since very ancient times Hindus have revered the white elephant that carried
Indra, the king of heaven. The Saddan, or celestial elephant, was the
mythological avatar that reincarnated in different ages to bring peace to the
planet. Accordingly the scriptures say, "Gautama Buddha entered the womb of
Queen Maya, as a white elephant, to be born upon the earth for the last time to
teach the law and give the millions peace."
Height: 1 3/4 - 1 1/2 - 1 1/4 inches
Width: 2 3/4 - 2 1/2 - 1 3/4 inches
Price: $12 for a set of three
Antique Cache Box
Used for stashing gold, silver, precious stones, and important papers. Rosewood,
teak, brass and iron. Handmade. 17th, 18th, 19th century, South India.
Legend has it that great fortunes were made along the Malabar coast by traders
who supplied rare hardwoods, ivory, gold, peacocks, and spices to Egyptian and
Solomonic dynasties. Greek ships of the classic era plied the extensive
intercoastal waterways of Kerela on their odysseys to Ceylon. Rome sent
emissaries to the royal courts of India to negotiate favored trade. During the
Diaspora, Jews established communities in Cochin where they soon controlled the
spice trade under the protection of the Maharaja. Saint Thomas, began a
successful Christian mission in 52 C.E. that was furthered by the Syrian
Orthodox Church. By 1000 C.E., great Vedic civilizations were building their
fabled temple cities in the interior. Meanwhile, Muslim sailors monopolized the
shipping routes around the Arabian Sea for several hundred years. Chinese
fishing fleets had cast their cantilevered nets for some time before Marco Polo
arrived as an ambassador from the court of Kublai Khan.
The colonial era began with the arrival of explorer, Vasco da Gama, in 1498. The
Portugese dominated the commercial cultivation of pepper and coconut palm until
the 17th century. Successive waves of Dutch and English developed enormously
profitable ventures in raw materials, textiles, spices and crafts. Fine artisans
were employed to make furniture from native teak and rosewood. Fashioned in
various tranportable sizes and clever designs, cache boxes were used to keep
gold, silver, precious stones and important papers.
Among the distinctive artifacts of that prosperous time, caches are particularly
collectable. After being stashed for 100 to 300 years, we discovered these
handsome little treasure chests in the tropical backwaters of Kerela. They have
been painstakingly cleaned and polished with beeswax. Now you can continue that
long and illustrious heritage by keeping your own valuables in these handsome
little treasure chests.
Copyright Inspired Planet
Antique Cache Box
med. small L. 13" W. 9" H. 4.5"
med. large L.15" W. 10" H. 7"
Each one similar, but distinct
$220. to 450.
Meditation Chime Bowl
Diameter: 4 1/2 inches
Material: Copper and tin, with silk ring stand and wooden mallet
You wouldn't expect to find elephants and rhinos in barns along Route 7, but on our recent trip to Inspired Planet we discovered a magical menagerie of creatures. There are dragons, birds, snakes, fish, frogs, turtles, horses and cats everywhere in this odd and wonderful collection of spiritual artifacts and stylish home accents.
Shimmering Creatures from the Volcano
We particularly noted the new array of silvered bronze candleholders from Java. They come in the form of royal elephants, costumed frogs and rare rhinoceroses. The designs originated in the 9th century, the classic period of Javanese civilization. But when the Moslem hordes arrived, the royal houses and all their artisans fled to Mount Bromo, a huge volcano which makes a natural fortress in the south of the island. There the old lost wax technique has been kept alive by generations of artists.
The splendid altars of Hindus and Buddhists are laden with flowers, fruit, gods and goddesses, magical animals and, of course, many candles. Because animals are intermediaries with the spirit realms they are featured in every ceremony. Costumed maidens make a graceful procession of offerings to the candlelit temples where priests invoke the spirit with fire rituals and chanted prayers.
Material: Silvered Bronze
Material: Silvered Bronze