Sunday, January 6, 2008

Eclectic Collection

Finally all the Christmas cake and cookies have been eaten at our house, although there are a few Japanese mandarins left. Today, January 6th, some celebrate Twelfth Night, when the Christmas tree is finally dismantled and all the decorations put away for another year, so as not to bring bad luck upon the house. Well, we wouldn't want that, now would we? So we took down the decorations and all the lights, put everything away in the storage boxes very carefully, put out the tree for the recycling pick-up and replaced the items that had been removed to make room for the decorations for the Christmas season.

On the table where I put our crèche I usually display what I call my "rock" collection, probably the most eclectic one you'll find. It's not at all comprehensive, it consists of things I have picked up over the years which have a geological source. They vary from the formally carved pieces, like the sculpture you see below, to slices of geodes, a chunk of fool's gold, some fossils, even stones I have picked up in places I've visited.

Sun and Moon, an onyx sculpture I bought in Mexico
more than twenty years ago

A chunk of petrified wood, basically a fossil where all the organic
have been replaced with minerals

Leopard skin jasper, a member of the quartz family, formed into an egg shape
I am particularly fond of this stone and have a necklace
and earrings made of it

On the left, three stones I picked up on the island of Vulcano, a small
volcanic island off the north west coast of Sicily.
They used to smell very strongly of sulphur but no more

On the upper right, a piece of lava I took from the slopes of Mount Etna, or
Mongibello in Italian, the very active volcano in Sicily

On the lower right, a stone I picked up on the beach in Cannes,
on the French Riviera

Not even vaguely connected to geology, I keep keep this treasure on
the table along with the "rocks"
Un chiodo del cinquecento or a nail from the sixteenth century which
a restorer gave me in Florence when I visited his botega or workshop

Well I hope it doesn't bring bad luck but I always leave my Christmas front door wreath up until if gets so dry that it starts to shed everywhere, which is usually about March. I'm so cheap! Happy Twelfth Night.


Tuscan Tony said...

What a fantastic collection, jmb - Happy New Year!

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

Merry Christmas today to you and your family.

Carver said...

I love your rock collection. You have some beautiful pieces. I hope your new year is off to a good start.

Rositta said...

Beautiful rock collection, my Mom used to collect rocks too...ciao

Ellee Seymour said...

Certainly a wonderful impressive collection. Christmas now seems so long ago.

Helge Mikkelsen said...

Happy new year to you. The picture of your rock collection did bring me memories of my father who was a collector of stones. I have a few of the collection in my livingroom. My father passed away some years ago.

Dreaming again said...

I love geods. I grew up near Yosemite National Park and we used to be able to find them and we had a church friend who would cut them open for us. I still remember the smell of the rock cutter ...
I wish, I'd saved them ...or maybe some of the stones he tumbled for us ... sigh.

leslie said...

What a beautiful collection, jmb! I never thought about collecting rocks from places I visit. Lots of photos, though, and usually one special piece from each country.

Sean Jeating said...

May neither sun nor moon fall on your head, jmb. :)
Again, Happy New Year!

The Laundress said...

Don't worry about that wreath -- you are lucky jmb! You have a fine collection: diverse yet not avalanching out of control. My kids call our neighbor "Rock Mike" , he collects interesting rocks and stones too but has to use a Bobcat when he wants to rearrange his collection...

All looks invitingly touchable. Love that you also have rocks that (used to ?) have a scent, hadn't thought of smelly rocks before... sulfur is not exactly a popular household fragrance, maybe you are glad they have lost their aroma?

Never saw the jasper before but it is easy to see why you like it so much.

Happy 2008!

Liz said...

I have a collection of stones but they're just ones I've picked up from beaches.

jmb said...

Hi TT,
Thanks and a Happy New Year to you too.

Hi James,
Happy Christmas on Jan 7th. I hope it was a good one.

Hi Carver,
Thanks, it's a bit strange but it means something to me. New Year off to a rocky start, so it should get better.

Hi Rositta,
Thanks, it seems that many people do collect rocks. Probably not ecologically sound really.

Hi Ellee,
There is nothing so over as Christmas, is there?

Hi Helge,
Happy New Year to you too. I'm glad you kept your father's rocks. I don't know that my children will keep mine.

Hi PK,
We collected some stones that a friend tumbled for us too. They are there on the table but I don't know which ones.

Hi Leslie,
I haven't picked up too many rocks really, I don't think we can all cart of a rock from wherever we are else there would be none left.

Hi Sean,
I do hope not, even this representation would give me a concussion. Although I was hit by a meteorite recently! Happy New Year to you.

Hi Merry Laundress,
I hope I am lucky. No I don't need a bobcat yet. I also have some frankincense and myrrh but both of those have lost their fragrance.

Hi Liz,
Those are the best kind, the found kind. Although some of mine were "found" in stores.

Thanks to all of you for visiting and commenting.

Dreaming again said...

I have a rosetta stone my son found on a hike. They are somewhat common here in Oklahoma, and they have a scent. That, surprised me. Not only do they look like a rose, but they have a pleasant scent.

He wanted me to find someone to polish it and get it smoothed out ..and I don't want to, I like the porous look as well as it's natural scent.

Voyager said...

I love the leopard skin Jasper. I've never seen anything like it.
How did you get that blog roll on your site? Is it difficult?

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Odd to think we have a perfect image of something long gone, so long gone it is totally mineralised.

The trilobites spring to mind. I always find looking at fossil trilobites amazing.

MedStudentWife said...

I love your collecion JMB :), especially the volcanic rock because it reminds me of Saba and the nail... how cool is that.

I have a couple of containers filled with beach stones, sand & shells that I have collected from the various beached I have visited over the years. I have no ideas what has come from where, but collectively, they are reminders of those lovely times.

jmb said...

Hi PK,

I don't know what a rosetta stone is so I'll have to google it. See today's post for fragrant chunks! I like the rocks raw and polished.

Hi Voyager,
I love the leopard skin jasper too. Send me your email and I'll tell you how to do it.

Hi Crushed,
Isn't it amazing? The wood especially amazes me but the fossil things are wonderful.

Saba is volcanic too. Isn't the nail great? I love it and treasure it. I have other rocks that I picked up on that table but can't remember which is which. The ones I showed you I do know for sure.

regards and thanks to you all

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

What awonderful collection of stones, jmb. I've got some fool's gold, too, from Elba. Rather suitable for me...

Sienna said...

Just a beautiful rock display and photos, I looked very hard for opal!

The petrified wood came close, it almost has the opal shimmer swirl, very beautiful.