Saturday, February 10, 2007
Mae West: GEM-a-thon
MAE WEST memorabilia is mushrooming on Ebay, which is dandy - - except for the oily scam artists who purport to be selling do-dads and costume jewelry once owned by the actress. Fans who want to get a gander at the real thing, supposedly, can come up and see Mae's more precious pieces on display in San Francisco.
• • Where these items are coming from is unclear, however, since Butterfield's Auctioneers (who liquated Mae's belongings after the death of her companion Paul Novak) said that the entertainer did not own jewelry with famous labels on them. Mae West did wear gems by Harry Winston when she appeared on Broadway as "Diamond Lil" - - but these sparklers were on loan.
• • Anyway here's where to find Mae West by the bay beginning today.
• • On 10 February there will be an opening of a new exhibition of French jewelry at the French-style Legion of Honor museum overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. The show features a century of desirable adornments, from Art Nouveau to Art Deco to contemporary, made by brand-name jewelers such as Cartier, Lalique, Boucheron, Van Cleef, JAR, Lorenz Baumer, etc.
• • Ogle the Taj Mahal diamond necklace, a gift from Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor for her 40th birthday, made by Cartier about 1972 with a 17th-century Mughal stone the size of a walnut. There is Marjorie Merriweather Post's platinum, sapphire, and diamond necklace from 1936-37 that can be worn as two bracelets. There are pieces once owned by Mae West and publisher Katharine Graham.
• • On view 10 February through 10 June 2007 is "Masterpieces of French Jewelry'' at the Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, San Francisco. Info: 415-863-3330.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • some of her diamonds • •