18k Yellow Gold / Natural Pearl / Diamond (0.33ct)
35mm x 50mm
There's a long history of Classical and Neoclassical putti jewelry out there, and this design is an obvious reference to a standard sculptural motif. Recently there haven't been as many quality examples, but people love this image of a winged baby. Although putti are often confused with the unrelated image of the cherub, our Putti could be said to honor this centuries long misinterpretation. Being flying heads, after all, they do have the cherubic appearance of a creature comprised almost entirely of wings. Tony Lent himself loves this design so much, he's been making them as long as he's been making jewelry. Originally encountering them in Greek and Roman jewelry, he was, as he put it, just blown away. The putti that appear in some 19th century French sculpture likewise took his breath away. He has over the course of his career made so many different versions of his own Putti piece, and what he finds so appealing about the motif is how it combines mythology with mysticism and religion. This sort of artistic and cultural mixing, of course, is exactly what inspires him the most, preferring as he does universal symbols to dogmatic traditions and ideas that have universal, not elitist, appeal. He designed the most recent version of his Putti when his children, were babies. Although the design was not actually based on either of them, it ended up resembling them somewhat, just because he needed something to look at. But he regards them as abstractions from natural features, not portraits, and examples of a long history of iconography that happens to reflect, as does so much of his work, the dynamic between observation and imagination.