Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Jean Cocteau`s Sword
The French writer Jean Cocteau (1889–1963) displayed his creative talents through poems, novels, plays, drawings, and films. "The handguard traces the profile of Orpheus, the mythological figure who was Jean Cocteau’s muse. An ivory version of Orpheus’s lyre, adorned with a 2.84-carat emerald and two rubies, crowns the pommel. Fabric-like gold wrapped around the hilt suggests drapery around the column of an ancient theater, evoking tragic drama. The mount of the scabbard bears Cocteau’s trademark signature of his initials with a star, a symbol that recurs on the crossguard in the form of a six-pointed star with a diamond in the center and a ruby on each point. The star is set against an ivory disk while the crossguard itself takes the form of a stick of charcoal, evoking Cocteau’s drawings. Also on the scabbard, a pattern evoking the grille surrounding the gardens of the Palais Royal alludes to his place of residence, while the hand clutching an ivory ball at the tip of the scabbard refers to the stone-laden snowball in Les Enfants Terribles, the film that Cocteau scripted from his own 1929 novel, directed by Jean-Pierre Melville in 1950." (Click to enlarge).