Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Walk like an Egyptian"

It is "Show Your Age" time...if you started to sing that song in your head, the 80s resonate with you...ah, The Bangles...and on that note, I give you bangles! Bangle bracelets do date back to Egyptian times, so you can put your bangles on and indeed "walk like an Egyptian!" I got a stash of them from one of my pickers (and now with American Pickers on the History channel, folks have a better sense of what a picker does!)
According to my research, engraved bangles and snake bracelets were popular during Roman times. Bracelets made of twisted coil with lion head ends were common place, as were the two part bracelets ending with a pair of lion heads. The Heracles knot bracelet is recognized as a Roman era piece. They still borrowed from Greek motifs with palmettos, fleeing dogs and acanthus leaves, all of Greek origin, seen in Roman jewelry.

India relates traditional customs to the bangle. They are worn after marriage to signify matrimony. It is tradition that the bride will try to wear as many small glass bangles as possible at her wedding and the honeymoon will end when the last bangle breaks. I am not to going to comment on that tradition! The middle bangle in the picture is glass...

In the Middle Ages, gypsies wore bangles. The sound of the bangle may have accented their performances.

From 1910 to 1939 women's fashions saw sleeveless or short sleeve dresses appear. The result was flexible bracelets and bangles worn on the upper arm. These arm bracelets were often adorned with gemstones or diamonds.
It is during this time that the bakelite bracelet came into vogue. Interestingly, artisans are melting down bakelite radio cases to make "new" jewelry. There is always the problem of how to tell bakelite...the sniff test...rub it quickly on a rough surface...should have a chemical smell. Or, 409 cleaner will turn a q-tip yellow when touched to bakelite. will defy those tests...I am learning to work with sound...bakelite has a deeper clunk sound than plastic...

So, if you need a bangle to dangle, we are stocked...from bakelite to metal to wood to "plastique" ~ we have 'em!

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