Spotlight turns on Cartier sparkle

HOME FRONT

October 07, 2001|By Julie Klavens | Julie Klavens,Sun Staff

Who wants to ride behind a liveried chauffeur?

Who wants an opera box, I'll bet?

And sleep through Wagner at the Met?

Who wants to corner Cartier, too?

-- Cole Porter, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

The name Cartier evokes images of dazzling, luxe wares, of glamour, of the most pampered, cosseted people in the world: who can forget Marilyn Monroe's breathy "Cartier!" during "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend," or the Duchess of Windsor, with her invariably flinty expression, static coif and impeccable jewels?

Cartier "outdistanced" its counterparts "in all aspects of design, aesthetics and merchandising," according to noted collector and historian Ralph Esmerian. Those of us who are unlikely to own a magnificent Cartier cigarette case or Art Deco bracelet may listen wistfully, and learn about the firm's enduring contributions, when Esmerian speaks about 20th-century French jewelry as part of the Maryland Historical Society's Antiques Show.

His lecture will begin at 11 a.m. Friday, and the $50 ticket ($25 of which is tax deductible) also includes luncheon and admission to the Antiques Show. The show will run from Friday through Sunday, and the Society, located at 201 W. Monument St. in Baltimore, will present related events: a preview party, other lectures and a ball. For information, call 410-685-3750 or visit www.mdhs.org.

Putting the hay in harvest hooligans

Everything you always wanted to know about scarecrows, but were scared to ask, can be found in Scarecrows: Making Harvest Figures and Other Yard Folks, a delightful volume by Felder Rushing.

Rushing presents lore (crop guardians have been part of cultures, from the Mayans to the Japanese, for centuries); trivia (one scholar contends that the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz symbolizes farmers in early 20th-century America); and a hefty section on how to create a figure that suits your aesthetic.

The volume is rich with photos of the traditional, the seasonal, the rustic and the inventive: a "scarecrow" made from terra cotta pots, figures with the eerie stillness of George Segal sculptures, and (our favorite) a hapless straw man struggling to keep pace with a straw dog straining at its leash.

Scarecrows, published by Storey Books, is available for $19.95 at some area bookstores, www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com or by calling 800-441-5700. --J.K.

Saddle up your dog for the trail

Our initial misgivings about seeing a dog decked out like a pack mule gave way to pragmatism. The Approach Pack from Ruff Wear is an eminently sensible product for people who like hiking with their dogs but aren't enthusiastic about carrying the extra weight of canine gear.

The pack, available in three sizes, allows a dog to carry the supplies -- food, water, collapsible bowls, fetch toys and even first-aid kit -- he'll likely need on a one- to three-day trip. Available in red or spruce, the Approach Pack features a three-point harness, fleece-padded straps, and reflective trim.

The Approach Pack is available for $65.95 at www.youractivepet.com. --J.K.

EVENTS:

Take one last lingering look at lush blooms: attend The National Capital Orchid Society's annual free show and sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow at the National Arboretum, 24th and R streets NE, Washington. For information, call 202-245-2726 or visit www.ars-grin.gov / na.

Urban and agrarian blend when Baltimore's Department of Recreation and Parks presents FestiFall. Scheduled activities and attractions include food, live music, hay rides, painting pumpkins, crafting scarecrows, square dancing and a petting zoo. The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Cylburn Arboretum, 4915 Greenspring Ave., Baltimore. For information, call 410-396-0180. --J.K.

Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Mary Corey, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.

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