Jerusalem Opens New Urban Park in Time for Tu Bishvat

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A new development in Jerusalem

Stephen Darori on Zionism

Across from the busy Pat Junction, a nature reserve and park is being developed. Meet the young volunteers who planted trees.
Tree planting for Tu Bishvat
Tree planting for Tu Bishvat

Across from the busy gas station at the corner of the Pat Intersection just before it turns into Begin Highway is a large patch of undeveloped land called Emek Hatzva’im, or Gazelle Valley. This month, work began to turn the area, also referred to as Pri-Har Valley, into a park with a soccer court and open space for the small herd of native gazelles to graze. A tough fight in the Jerusalem Municipality resulted in plans for new commercial area to be cancelled.

On Tuesday, a group of volunteers planted trees in anticipation of the holiday of Tu Bishvat, the Jewish New Year for the Trees which began Wednesday evening and will last until sunset Thursday.

Rotem Palti, a young national service volunteer from the north of Israel spoke to Arutz Sheva’s Israel National Radio…

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Antique Silver Shell Servers – Beach Dining with Style

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Antique Silver Shell Servers – Beach Dining with Style

Before there was money, there was silver and before that, there were shells. Antique silver shell servers add so much more than bringing the beach to 

your table. Antique silver shell servers are a reminder of our history as a species, our love of nature and the incredible forms it manifests.

Long ago, our oldest ancestors began trading and the means of exchange were cowrie shells. Men and women adorned themselves with shells in an attempt
to make themselves more attractive. Christians, Hindus and Buddhists have all attributed shells with religious significance. We’ve come a long way
since then, but shells still play a part in many of our lives. Antique silver shell servers add elegance and fun to our dining experience. They come
in forms that reflect the limitless imagination of Nature and humanity. They come in every shape and size and almost regardless of your means, you can
find an antique silver shell server to suit your pocket.

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Napoleonic Salt & antique silver shell server

Napoleonic Salt & antique silver shell server

This marvellous French silver open salt and it’s accompanying antique silver shell shaped salt shovel are a miracle of fine workmanship and the
durability of beautiful workmanship and design. 200 years old, it will bring joy and pleasure to every meal that you share with your family and
friends.

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Antique TIffany Sterling Silver Tea Caddy
Antique TIffany Sterling Silver Tea Caddy

The name Tiffany conjures up elegance, style, quality and class. Don’t feel out of your depth: Use a caddy spoon like this and voila! you turned a
simple cuppa into a beautiful event. Tiny spoon for scooping up tea with a beautiful fluted silver fan shell forming

 

 

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Tiffany Sterling Silver Asparagus Server

Tiffany Sterling Silver Asparagus Server

Another example of Tiffany’s quiet elegance is this asparagus server. Patented the year Victorian died, it was made later during the 20th century,
proving that good taste and fine dining are not a thing of the past. Beautiful central shell and feathery design to impress your guests even if your
souffle flopped.
Some of the most imaginative silverware created during the late Victorian era was created by the Gorham Manufacturing Co. Of it’s justifiably admired
creations, the top of the line are the silver shell shaped servers.

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Gorham Antique Sterling Silver Server

Gorham Antique Sterling Silver Server

Here is a Gorham antique silver shell server spoon that really brings the beach to your table. Arts and Crafts or Aesthetic look, it combines sterling
silver with gold wash and a combination of garden foliage and marine life that only the wildly imaginative Victorians would dare to combine. While
leaves and tendrils wind around the sea-shell-shaped bowl and stem, a crab creeps along the arching handle. Absolutely marvellous! Dig in to your
fish soup or crab stew with this encouraging utensil.

 

 

 

 

 

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Gorham Narragansett Silver Server

Gorham Narragansett Silver Server

The crem de la crem, no pun intended, is this Gorham Narragansett Ideal olive server also made in the 1880′s. Fish, a variety of sea shells and even
the carbuncles that cling to old marine stones and coral are represented on this superb antique sterling silver shell server. It simply doesn’t get
better than this.
Today, we shared a number of antique sterling silver shell servers. Marine life and especially sea shells are represented in a wide variety of dining
accessories which we love and will discuss on another occasion. Meanwhile:
Soup up your daily dining; Add pezazz to your dinner and bring home the beach.

She sells silver sea shells on the sea shore.

8 dangers of Buying Antique Jewelry at Auction by Brenda ginsberg ( Reblogged)

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Losersoflinkedin is a Troll Blog. Everything therein is Fictitious and Untrue.

Buying antique jewelry at auction sounds like a lot of fun. It is, but the process is also fraught with pitfalls and traps and I will tell you about some of them today.

Today, auctioneers, especially the big famous auctioneers have set themselves as gods apart. Prices realised at their sales are astronomical – well over what I consider retail. This remains a mystery to me for the following reasons.

1. Most auction houses provide a single, postage-stamp sized ‘photo. It is taken by a professional photographer, trained to make the item look great. They do not show multiple angles; they do not show flaws; they do not show faults. What you see, is not what you will get.

2. While the professional staff at some of the well-known auction houses are incredibly arrogant about their level of knowledge, even they are apt to make mistakes. I have bought items…

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The Great Recession: JPMorgan Chase to pay $2bn in Madoff probe

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Madoff masterminded a massive and long-running so-called Ponzi investment fraud which came to light in 2008

People pass a sign for JPMorgan Chase at its headquarters in Manhattan on October 2, 2012 ( Spencer Platt (Getty/AFP) )

JPMorgan Chase, the US bank used by Bernard Madoff who masterminded the biggest fraud on record, has agreed to pay about $2 billion to US authorities to avoid litigation, press reports said Monday.

Madoff masterminded a massive and long-running so-called Ponzi investment fraud which came to light in 2008 as the financial crisis gathered speed.

At the time of its collapse in 2008, Madoff Securities claimed it had about $65 billion in client assets, whereas in fact it had only about $300 million.

The fraud ruined many investors and stoked public anger over the causes and consequences of the crisis.

Reports in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, citing people close to the matter, said JPMorgan Chase would announce the settlement this week.

The Wall Street Journal said: “The bulk of the fines are expected to be routed to victims of Mr. Madoff.”

JPMorgan Chase, the biggest US bank by assets, was the main bank used by Madoff for more than 20 years.

The sources quoted by the two papers said the bank had agreed to pay up to close criminal and civil investigations by federal authorities which suspected that the bank had ignored signs that Madoff was operating a fraudulent scheme.

The New York Times said that the expected announcement would take to $20 billion the total amount paid by the bank in the last 12 months to settle various government investigations.

The paper noted that the bank had declined to comment on its report but had insisted that all of its staff had acted in good faith.

The various authorities involved also declined to comment.

The New York Times also reported that in a highly unusual move demonstrating the extreme gravity of the case, the settlement would include a deferred prosecution agreement suspending criminal action provided that the bank acknowledged the facts against it and changed its behaviour.

The expected settlement indicated a new conciliatory stance by the bank, the report said, adding: “Within the bank, there is growing impatience among executives who worry that the scrutiny distracts from its record profits.”

However, the bank was the target of recent bribery investigations by US authorities over its practise of hiring in China the children of people among the country’s ruling elite, the newspaper noted.

In 2009, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison.

His Ponzi or pyramid scheme was based on using money from incoming investors to pay high returns to longer standing investors. When the financial markets collapsed and investors withdrew their funds, the Madoff illusion was exposed.

The liquidator of the Madoff business, Irving Picard, had begun action against the bank with a claim of up to $20 billion in damages, but a federal judge and then an appeal court rejected this action, arguing that only investors who had been deceived could launch them.

However, that procedural issue is now before the Supreme Court.

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History of Earrings – The Ancient World

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General comments: It would be convenient to draw a single time-line describing the history of antique earrings, but in reality, different cultures exhibited different fashions and technical abilities at any given time. The antique earrings in the Ancient Orient differed to those worn in the Middle East, which were  superior to anything known in Europe at the time. As men began to travel further afield, there was cultural and technical interchange and influence for what we call antique earrings.  And yet, even today, while economists speak of globalisation, there are vast differences between earrings in the West and those worn in the Far East and Africa.  Here, we will talk about some of the general trends.

 

The  Ancient  World:

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photo of antique earringsEarrings compliment out looks, but in the Ancient world, they served to show which social, political or religious group or clan you belonged to, your social status, wealth and class within the group. Antique Earrings flashed wealth or divulged your status as a slave. Today, there are clear distinctions between earring styles worn by different cultures in the non-western world. Antique earrings, both pendants and hoops, worn 7000 years in Egypt or Asia, signified that the wearer belonged to a particular class. Early cultures believed that evil spirits could enter the body via any orifice.  Earrings were seen as a means to plug up the ears and prevent such an invasion. The magical powers attributed to antique earrings are wide and varied, for example is the belief that they strengthened weak eyes. This belief persisted in France as late as the 1800’s.

 

While earrings are clearly mentioned many times in the Old Testament (stories about Moses and Abraham mention earrings to name just two), antique earrings for pierced ears were known in the Middle East from at least 3000 years ago. The oldest antique earrings were found in the royal graves in Iraq, home of the Ancient Assyrians. In 1989 the treasures of Nimrod, their capital city, considered on a par with King Tut’s tomb were excavated. About 50 kg of marvelous jewels including 8 pairs of identical earrings, owned by the Assyrian Queen were found. This intricate gold jewelry was technically superior to anything produced for many years afterwards. During the recent chaos and looting of the war in Iraq, some of these earrings landed up on the auction block in the USA and amidst much scandal, including Interpol’s swooping intervention, was finally brought back to the Iraq Museum.

 

If not clear by now, it should be pointed out that in Ancient times, jewelry was predominantly worn by men.  Some walls of the Persian ancient palace of Persepolis, c500 BC., show carved figures of soldiers wearing earrings.

 

Antique Earrings – Dress to Impress

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photo antique earrings on modelEarrings are the most popular form of antique jewelry today. While other forms of jewelry abound, it is difficult to find good quality, interesting antique jewellery earrings.

Why are antique earrings so desirable?

 

Ever since Eve adorned herself with a fig leaf, humankind has looked to jewelry as a mode of identity social standing, to identify with a cultural group, to link with the past, to impress others, to express ourselves. Mythological, religious, symbolic significance and historic links are part of it all, but the biggest reason we wear earrings, is for its wonderful aesthetic appeal.

 

Women hardly need to be persuaded that “You are what you wear”. Earrings frame our faces – the most seen and outwardly relevant part of our bodies. Simply put: they make us look good.

 

Earrings have been and are, made of every material available. We value earrings made with precious metals and set with precious stones most. Adding a designer name always helps, whether it be ‘by Appointment to ….’ or the latest wave in fashion-fundis. To me, little made today compares to the antique earring, both in design, workmanship and historic appeal. Earrings are undoubtedly, little works of art. While some great earrings are made today, nothing compares to antique earrings worn by our grand and great-grandmothers.

 

I have found surprising similarities in antique jewelry made across the continents, over the centuries in earrings imbedded with gems or simply twisted wires. We don’t need a time-machine to know that there must have been trade between Europe and India. We just need to look at their jewels to see that cultures were crossed.

 

antique earrings on modelTypes of earrings: There are many types of earring, from those that simply slip through a tiny hole in our ear-lobe, to huge entities that extend and distend the lobe over a period of years, or worn on a variety of locations up and down the outer ear. Many earrings are little ornaments suspended from wires that penetrate the earlobe. Chandeliers and Girandoles in 3 sections, so heavy that they were supported by ribbons tied to the hair.  Long pendants. Drops. Hoops. Poissarde earrings with an S-shaped wire, supposedly worn by fishwives in France and highly sought after in that country today. Studs – simple and small, worn flat on the lobe with a rigid post through the ear. Clip-ons, an innovation of the early 20th century and still in use today, come in every form and are especially useful for people without pierced ears.

 

Prior to the 20th century, most earrings were inserted in the ear back to front. Today the opposite is the norm.  Most antique earrings have replaced wires and often replaced surmounts. We really should not hold this against them. After all, the new wires are much more comfortable and easy to insert.   And, let’s be forgiving – How well have we held up over the years?

 

A whole host of more complex forms of earrings exists in societies, like India, where the earring is much more than a simple adornment. When we look at some of these creations, it’s mind-boggling to consider the extent of self-mutilation involved in wearing them.

 

Modes of Fastening: Many earrings suspended from wires have no clasp at all. The wire simply goes through the lobe and hopefully, never falls out. To avoid accidents, often a means of catching the bottom of the wire exists, usually in the form of a c-catch. Russian earrings often have a triangular catch to hold the wire. Studs are held by little gadgets called ‘butterflies’. Today, nice comfy butterflies made of plastic make pushing these tight against the back of the lobe less nasty. Clips with a variety of clasps, often called French backs or Omegas, shaped like the Greek letter. Screw-ons – a short-lived fad of the early 1900’s for masochists longing for the days of the Inquisition. Replace them with posts. Latch and lever backs are less common.

 

What should you look for when shopping for earrings?

 

example of beautiful antique earringsAesthetic appeal, craftsmanship & technical skill, condition, historic or other symbolic value, provenance, designer names, intrinsic value of materials and most of all, yet again, personal taste. I particularly love earrings with a sense of movement and sometimes, a sense of humor. Ask yourself what you want to wear: Classic or Bling? The great thing about earrings is that you can have lots of them to suit every mood and occasion.

 

“Dress to Impress”!! Clever women know the earring secret. It isn’t the outfit, but that subtle something – the earring, that truly makes the look.