Saturday, November 19, 2005

Catherine's Necklace- not lunch money

Looks like Catherine the Great's necklace just sold for $1.5 million- "the most important historical neckalce Sothebys has sold in 30 years" reportedly. The necklace includes a 10.5 ounce pearl.

Update: DiamondVue has more on specs and background

Like her predecessor Elizabeth- "who was a woman of exceeding beauty, she loved dancing, jewelry and expensive dresses", Catherine the Great was no slouch. She helped instigate the Hermitage and introduced opera into Russia (stating with a decree that “Russian Theater should be not merely for comedies and tragedies, but also for operas", perhaps the impetus for St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre to open shortly afterward).

Recently, her statue has been returned to Moscow (having been spirited away in the '50s "for safety"). This may be the same statue pictured above.

BTW, whereas Putin used to have Peter the Great's portrait hanging in his KGB office, perhaps its not surprising that Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel has a framed picture of German-born Catherine the Great on her desk ("an example of a strong woman.")


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