Salvador Dali’s Telephone Earrings

Salvador Dali was one of the most successful artists in translating images from his paintings into jewelry. It was during the 1940’s and 1950’s that he actually created a body of jewelry based on his singular surrealist images. Some of the designs for these jewels were taken directly from his paintings. He wanted to transform the two dimensional into the third dimension, and loved adapting his images to precious, small sculptures that could be worn.

We have recently been fortunate in acquiring his famed Telephone Ear Clips. These are fabulous and quite rare – I have only seen one other pair at the Dali Museum in Figueras, Spain.  They are in 18k gold, with rubies, emeralds and diamonds. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the entire telephone – life sized? His sub-title for these earrings was “The Persistence of Sound.” He wrote, describing these earrings, “The ear is a symbol of harmony and unity; the telephone design a reminder of the speed of modern communication – the hope and danger of instantaneous exchange of thought”.

Of course, this was long before the advent of computers and cell phones, texting, Twitter, and all of our modern means of instantaneous communication. I am sure that he would have approved, and been fascinated by the new technology, but somehow, I don’t think a cell phone, no matter how sleek, and how many apps it has, would have inspired such an original and evocative pair of earrings.

For more information about Dali and his jewelry, please see my blog entitled Salvador Dali’s Ruby Lips.

Audrey Friedman for Primavera Gallery

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