You know that sinking feeling you get when you fetch the mail and it’s nothing but bills?
If your mailbox was anything like the one included in the exhibit “Jeweled Objects of Desire” at Cartersville’s Tellus Science Museum, you likely wouldn’t care.
That’s because this mailbox, purchased at a hardware store but then greatly enhanced by San Francisco jewelry maker Sidney Mobell in 1991, is plated with 24-karat gold and studded with 137 sapphires weighing 48.20 carats, 100 rubies weighing 24.50 carats, 25 diamonds weighing 2.25 carats and 10 emeralds weighing 1.75 carats.
Instead of the usual red flag, Mobell designed one in gold. For the United States Postal Service’s eagle logo, he set sapphires, rubies, emeralds and diamonds.
Extravagant? Proudly so.
But the idea behind it — and the other 46 pieces in the touring exhibit drawn from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s collection — was to show how simple materials can be transformed into remarkable treasures with artistic skill and ingenuity (oh, and bling — can't forget the bling).
Other works on view through Nov. 1, 2015 include a 14-karat gold Nokia cell phone encrusted with 39 diamonds, 21 rubies, and 212 sapphires; an 18-karat gold hourglass pendant harboring 200 diamonds; and an 18-karat gold pomegranate-shaped brooch that, when opened, converts into a pendant boasting a sunburst of 181 yellow and brown diamonds radiating from a center diamond.
Mobell even built a better mousetrap, also included in the show: a 14-karat solid gold one with a pavé set diamond masquerading as the luring piece of cheese.
“Jeweled Objects of Desire” inaugurates a special exhibit space in Tellus’ Mineral Gallery, an addition funded out of its Vision for the Future capital campaign that concluded last year.
The museum is at 100 Tellus Drive (Exit 293 off I-75), Cartersville. 770-606-5700, www.tellusmuseum.org.