27 August 2017

Jean Vendome’s academician’s sword in the “Medusa” exhibition

A tribute to this French jeweler who died just a short time ago. On seeing the jeweler’s “5th Avenue” ring, the French intellectual, Roger Caillois, was struck by its lightness and the purity obtained by the play of negative space that for him inspired reverie, and thus he decided to entrust Vendome with the making of his sword*. As tradition would have it, the materials and designs used for the sword should symbolize the work of its future owner. Roger Caillois chose the moldavite from Czechoslovakia which recalls his wife’s country of origin. The five diamonds forming the Southern Cross evoke the Gallimard book collection of which he was the director, and the tourmaline from Brazil relates to the privileged links he shared with this country. There are other symbols besides, but this sword marks especially the beginning of a friendship between the two mineral enthusiasts, so much so that Roger Caillois, a collector, even devoted a collection of poems to these entitled The Writing of Stones.

* Conserved in the Musée des Confluences in Lyon

  • © Pierre-Olivier Deschamps / Agence VU’ - Musée des Confluences, Lyon

  • © Pierre-Olivier Deschamps / Agence VU’ - Musée des Confluences, Lyon

  • © Pierre-Olivier Deschamps / Agence VU’ - Musée des Confluences, Lyon

  • © Pierre-Olivier Deschamps / Agence VU’ - Musée des Confluences, Lyon

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