Monday, October 26, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I am truly in love with pearls! One of my favorite pearl stories is that Cleopatra and Mark Antony:
"Cleopatra arrived on her legendary barge, and proceeded to throw elaborate banquets for Antony and his officials for several evenings straight—nothing like a bit of wining and dining to smooth over political misunderstandings. So impressed was Antony at the lavish feasts Cleopatra had arranged that he accepted a friendly wager. Cleopatra bet Antony a large sum of money that she could host the most expensive meal in history. The next day, as the meal in question was nearing its end, Antony said that it had been terrific, but no more impressive than her other banquets—and certainly not worth the sum of money she had specified. At this, Cleopatra removed one of her pearl earrings and dropped it in a goblet of wine vinegar. Each of the pearls was so large and rare that it was extraordinarily valuable—estimates are usually expressed in extremely helpful terms such as “10,000,000 sesterces” or “100,000 gold aurei,” or “the value of 15 countries.” In any event, it was worth a fortune. The pearl dissolved in the vinegar, which Cleopatra then drank. Antony conceded defeat—the value of that single drink, let alone the banquet, had indeed been more than any meal in history"