limoges porcelain boxes, Wonderful World 3

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Limoges Porcelain Boxes, Wonderful World 3

It's A Wonderful World 5

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Wonderful World [ 1 ][ 2 ][ 3 ][ 4 ][ 5 ][ 5 Cont'd ][ 6 ][ 7 ][ 8 ][ 9 ][ 10 ][ 11 ][ 12 ][ ][ 14 ][ 15 ][ 16 ][ 17 ][ 18 ][ 19 ][ 20 ]

Recently I had an email conversation with a customer. She was interested in boxes having to do with Africa. As you can see, our previous Wonderful World pages do not include anything African. That's because I have never been there and truthfully, until my conversation with Toni, I never had much interest in Africa. When our conversation ended that had changed. What I heard in Toni's voice as she spoke, the love of the country that came through, was intriguing to me and I think may be to you, as well. When I decided that Africa would be included in our next "Wonderful World" I wrote Toni and asked if she would write something for our readers. What follows was written by Toni and Joaquin Lorenzo who have been to both North and South Africa three times and are avidly looking forward to their next visit in the near future.

Photo by Toni and Joaquin Lorenzo

Regarding Africa:
"Having always heard that the lion is the "king of the jungle" we have come to realize, after several trips to Africa, that, in fact, it is the elephants who are the true royalty of Africa. Alternately powerful, yet tender, these magnificent beasts inspire awe, while at the same time one feels an almost familial kinship to them. One only needs observe a family of elephants to relate to a mother's need to protect her young.

While watching animals congregating at a salt lick in Kenya, we had the opportunity to spend hours watching an elephant herd frolic in the mud. The females, acting like zealous security guards, surrounded the babies and kept a wary eye on nearby strangers: rhinos, cape buffaloes and others.

Another day in Kenya we watched the sunset over Mount Kilimanjaro. In the distance a herd of about forty elephants wandered among the trees. We watched for a few moments and then asked our guide if we could move on. He said, "No, wait!" Without a single sound, not even that of a rustling leaf, the elephants paraded silently, single file, through the woods and past our vehicle. The incredibly gentle and peaceful spectacle was rudely shattered by a huge bull trumpeting his displeasure with our intrusion. Respectfully, we left.

This past summer we visited a veritable elephant paradise, Botswana. There we witnessed the unforgettable sight of hundreds of elephants making their way into the Chobe River to drink and bathe. Later, under a spectacular African sunset, we sat drinking African wine and watched scores of elephants crossing the Linyati River from Namibia to Botswana.

Each time we are struck anew by the dignity and majesty of these huge creatures. Each time we are struck anew by the miraculous cacophony of life which is Africa. Whether observing thousands of pink flamingos on a lake, cheetahs hunting impala, hyenas howling in the night, or Masai warriors dancing, Africa casts a spell which can never be erased. We shall return."
-- Toni and Joaquin Lorenzo

The Lorenzos are avid travelers and reserve each summer for their journeys. They have visited every continent excepting Antarctica and are thinking about, perhaps, going there. Toni is a school guidance counselor in a suburban area of New York and Joaquin works with pre-K children in New York City. They return to Africa "for its blood red sunsets, its interplay of predators and prey, the Masai and Zulu cultures, the majesty of its wildness, the gentleness of its people and the overwhelming realization that this is the continent where the human race began."

U1. Elephants Bathing and Drinking Box. In the essay by Toni and Joaquin Lorenzo that precedes this paragraph, they mention seeing hundreds of elephants bathing and drinking when they traveled in Africa. Recently friends of mine returned from a safari and they too exclaimed over seeing the elephants. Majesty was the word used. I think that this box reflects the feeling perfectly. Notice that one elephant is drinking while the other is bathing and notice how roiled the water is. The water is done in relief so that you have a real feeling of movement when you look at it. Inside, the Serengeti, painted. The clasp, A Mother and Her Calf. Retail: $209.00. Our price: $188.90.   

U2. The African Elephant Bull Box. This is the largest of all elephants, in fact, the largest of all land animals living today. They stand 10-15 feet tall and weigh up to 8 tons. They live to be approximately 60-65 years of age generally determined by how long their teeth last. The molar teeth of elephants do not erupt at once; rather a new one grows forwards as the existing tooth wears down. The sixth and final pair of molars usually is worn down at about 60 years of age so few elephants live beyond this age. Their huge ears act as cooling elements for their bodies. They are very sensitive with enormous masses of capillaries which, when they spread their ears, permits the air to pass over these capillaries cooling their blood and acting as a temperature control for their bodies. The ears also are part of their defense. If confronted they will spread their ears out to either side presenting a massive head to anything threatening them. Our animal has his trunk raised and is trumpeting. On the base of the box are palm trees and inside the box several more palm trees. The clasp in another elephant. Isn¹t he a handsome beast? Our price: $187.90.

The following item is by Special Order only.
V. The Leopard on a Limb Box. An agile climber, the leopard has spring-like leg muscles that permit it to leap as high as 18 feet. It spends much of it's time in the trees and often stores it's kill there. Interestingly, the species vary depending on where they are located, i.e. coloration of their coats are golden/yellow in open grasslands, yellow/cream in desert areas and deep gold in mountain and forest regions. The old adage "A leopard doesn't change it's spots" isn't true. The rosettes vary with each subspecies. The black panther, is, if the truth be known, actually a leopard and his spots are black on black, if you'd care to get close enough to see them. Inside a tree and a friend for the clasp. Retail: Upwards of $213.00. Our price: $192.90.

W. The Cheetah Family Portrait Box. A female cheetah grooming her cub while the father looks on. An astonishingly beautiful representation of a subspecies of the leopard. The cheetah is the fastest of all land animals reaching speeds of 60 miles an hour. He tires quickly and although he captures his kill quite easily he usually too tired to defend it from other animals and so often has to kill more than once for his food. Retail: Upwards of $245.00. Our price: $208.90.

W2. The Running Cheetah Box. Cheetahs are the fastest of all land animals ( top speed of 45 miles per hour) and it seemed appropriate, when I saw this box, to get it for that reason. Aside from that, it is quite well done. The animal is accurately portrayed and well painted. He seems about to spring. There is a great deal of movement expressed in this piece and that, by itself, is the tale of the cheetah. Inside, the Serengeti, painted. The clasp is a leaf. Retail: About $165.00. Our price: $148.90.

X. The Giraffe Box. The tallest of all mammals, this fellow grows to 18 feet or more. His front legs are longer than his hind and his back slopes downwards. His favorite food is acacia leaves and you've got to be able to reach those hence the very long neck. (That last is me taking license again.. He might have had the neck first and then found the acacia leaves.) Anyway, he is native to most of Africa south of the Sahara desert. Like the leopard, subspecies of giraffes have varied skin patterns; spots, geometric shapes and leaf shapes. He has incredibly sharp eyesight and together with his height that gives him a "leg up" on some of his predators. Because of this chap's neck, the box is 4 1/2 inches tall and at the widest part of the base it is 3 1/2 inches. Rather large but so is he. Retail: About $173.00. (I hesitate to use the word upwards.) Our price: $147.90.

The following item is by Special Order only.
Y. The Pride of Lions Box. Actually these are two lionesses with a cub, not really a "pride". A pride is many lions not just three, and it consists mainly of females, the young and the dominant male. The dominant male remains with his females for usually not longer than three years, then he is challenged by a younger and stronger male and a new dominant male takes over the pride. There is a lot more to what I have just described, rather simplistically, but it is gory. If you are interested in reading about it, Britannica has some excellent articles on "Big Cats". (If you have noticed that this box resembles one of the previous boxes it is because as white ware they were the same. All of the members of the cat family strongly resemble each other, the main difference being their coat coloring and markings. Here they are painted as lions, no spots and a different color. Female lions do not look like their male counterparts.) Inside, a savanna with mountains in the distance. The clasp is the dominant male of the pride. Retail: Upwards of: $213.00 Our price: $181.90 NEW

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