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Our Pearl is a lovely little ode to pregnancy and a new baby. A perfect gift for an expecting woman, or someone who works with the labor and delivery process!
The exterior of this sweet small chest includes many references to the sheer biological magic of sperm meeting egg (on the front panels) and dividing cells within an embryo (on the side panels) and phases of pregnancy (on the back panel). These biological images are juxtaposed with a poetic view of new human life represented on the front panel by an African letter to an unborn child, and on the back panel by a poem called "In the Sixth Month" by Sarah Mckinstry Brown, a contemporary American poet.
When the doors are opened, the sweetest little round-headed baby is revealed,- holding court in his gilded inner sanctum; the 'pearl' tucked into a shiny abalone shell. I found this vintage photograph of a baby in a christening gown in an antique shop and was immediately attached to this guy's slightly alarmed expression, chubby cheeks, and perfect globe of a head.
The 'pearl' in his shell is mounted over a vintage "Date Due" sticker from inside a library book (remember when library books had to be stamped by hand rather than run through a scanner?). A wise guardian angel looks down from above, and a little golden baby shoe rests on the ledge beneath him.
On the floor of the interior space there are two gold-painted seed pods, which I was delighted to discover are the exact same shape as the anatomical drawings of human ovaries which appear on the front panels! Ain't nature awesome?!
Of course, every new baby is the pearl of his or her family - I hope this shrine finds a home with someone who, like me, holds a deep reverence for the mysterious combination of science, poetry, hope and magic that come together to create a new little human life.
Size: 10.5"H X 6.5" W X 2.5"D
Materials: recycled small chest; abalone shell; altered vintage photo of baby; "Date Due" library book label; seed pods; anatomical renderings of ovaries, sperm meeting egg, pregnant woman, and dividing human cells; full text poem (on back); multiple sizes of pearls; baby shoe, wings and face charms; beads; paint
Our Pearl sits on a shelf or table; it is not designed to be hung. Like all Sara Saltee assemblages, it is a one-of-a-kind original that will never be recreated or reproduced.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any inquiries about this piece.