Wednesday, 7 August 2013

STORYTELLER - Daisy's Diamonds

Carey Mulligan plays Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby
Diamonds by Tiffany & Co

There is something really retro about summer that makes us all dreamy and sleepy. Thinking back to past times, the 1960s flower children and the Summer of Love, and back further to that carefree era between the wars. Especially if you are old enough that when you were little elderly relatives told stories of that time, showed black and white photos and allowed you to play with broken diamanté and faux opal necklaces. Tea dances, beaded dresses, dancing on tables and in fountains. Real fur coats and feather boas. Aunties who made Prohibition Gin in the bathtub. Cars that were designed purely for looks rather than ergonomically.  Diamonds, emeralds and pearls for the well off.
Jim Morrison and Pamela Courson
 You can imagine that Daisy Buchanan became the Grandmother of some 60's Flower Child who  ran away to Laurel Canyon to live with a musician taking some of Daisy's jewels with her.
The San Francisco Cliff House
My Grandfather could do The Charleston, not just adequately, but very well. He and my Grandmother met at The Cliff House in San Francisco, at a tea dance, before the beautiful Victorian building burnt down.  When I was little this used to fascinate me and I remember that Grandma had a real fur coat even tough I never saw her dress up. I always wondered what they had looked like in those days of beaded chemise flapper dresses, sequins and long ropes of pearls and tiaras.

Flappers Dancing the Charleston atop the Sherman Hotel
Chicago, December 11, 1926

 It is hard to think of a more romantic story than The Great Gatsby. Only a few equals come to mind, Breakfast At Tiffany's, Gone With The Wind, Wuthering Heights.

I have always been torn between F. Scott Fitzgerald's tragic hero whose dreams of eternal love are let down by squalid reality, and Hemingway's Earthy scars and all portrayal of life. I cannot shake from my mind the oft quoted literal exchange between the two of them via their books.

Fitzgerald is quoted as saying: “The rich are different from you and me.” And, Hemingway is quoted as responding: “Yes, they have more money."

Both of them were to suffer magnificent obsessions -  Scott Fitzgerald because of his own fragility and the beautiful irresistible wife Zelda. So wicked, so spoiled, talented and unrelenting and more than ever so slightly mad. Sadly she was to die in a fire in an insane alyssum.

While Hemingway had his inner demons. His incessant need to kill wild things and the loss of his wife in a car crash in Africa.  At least he had his 6 toed cats, whose progeny still hold court for the tourists at his residence in Key West. Like Fitzgerald he became one of his own characters when he chose to take his boat out and shoot himself at sea. 

Hemingway and one of his cats

Like his books, the cats live on

No summer ever goes by that I do not think of them both. And Zelda, or Daisy,  come to think of it.

The ability of a storyteller to bring life to their creations which live on to enthral future generations long after their own demise is nothing short of magic. And it is rare.

Zelda Fitzgerald
Daisy Buchanan played by Carey Mulligan

Daisy Buchanan is one such character and one cannot help but know there is a lot of his wife Zelda in Daisy and a lot of himself in Gatsby.

From tumblr

To those who do not understand Gatsby must seem a loser. He fails in his dream and he loses the one thing he cared about, Daisy, who he did it all to obtain. The green light at the end of Daisy's dock which Gatsby is always reaching for symbolises the American Dream that money can bring you happiness and you will get your Daisy. He is not a loser, he stayed true to his dream and it is instead Daisy who lets the hero down. She choses money instead of love and she is happy with that. Is he a fool? Hemingway probably thought so and yet envied him.

Like Zelda Daisy is captivating and you cannot help but fall for her. Yet she is ultimately disappointing. But it was her ability to shine which attracted us. And of course she had great diamonds.

She would have loved this collection.

Tiffany designers crafted a magnificent headpiece in platinum for The Great Gatsby,
named The Savoy Head Piece, bringing Daisy Buchanan to life.
Features a detachable brooch. Inspired by Baz Luhrmann’s film in collaboration with Catherine Martin.
Freshwater cultured pearls, 3.6-6.9 mm. Round brilliant diamonds, carat total weight 25.04.

The Tiffany Daisy ring for The Great Gatsby

An archival daisy motif of diamonds in platinum accented with pearls
beautifully reimagines Jazz Age fashion.
Inspired by Baz Luhrmann’s film in collaboration with Catherine Martin.
Freshwater cultured pearls, 2-7 mm. Round brilliant diamonds,
carat total weight 8.98.


F. Scott-Fitzgerald was a customer of Tiffany's and Zelda and he both wore their jewels. For the film Tiffany gave archive access to the directors and created a collection which Zelda would have approved of.

You can watch a short video on youtube about how the collaboration was born and worked for the film.

Tiffany and The Great Gatsby

I'm pleased that the film has been remade to bring the story of Gatsby and Daisy, and F Scott-Fitzgerald and Zelda to a new generation, but it does not and cannot reach the intensity of the book. I don't think anyone ever will.


  1. I remember reading The Great Gatsby and, of course, watched the film a long time ago. I should re-read it as you brought it up here. Beautiful jewellry, love the hair band. I prefer colourful gem stones, but clusters of high quality diamonds are superb!

    I left a comment for the previous post yesterday, but disappeared again... : ( Is there anything I have done, such as spelling poorly or wrting with Japanese accent? : O

    1. Midori, I too prefer coloured stones for me, but I think Mrs Black would like a diamond collar! I am sorry that blogger sometimes makes comments disappear - it seems to have a mind of it's own. Thank you for stopping by again. x

  2. Wonderful tribute to the Great Gatsby. I love that era.

  3. PS Just seen your comment on my photo blog, thank you for that. The bird is a thrush, we have a family of them, luckily.

    1. Cait, Thank you! I love Thrush, their song is kind of sad and yet uplifting. Beautiful birds - you are so luck! x

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting our little blog. It was a magical time period wasn't it? A kind of mad indulgence before the reality of the war set in. Minerva x

  5. Delightful post and visuals.
    I also so enjoyed seeing Hemingway and Jim Morrison.
    I was smiling big when I saw Endora in you header :)
    Always intriguing here.

    1. Willow, Thank you! Yes, we are huge fans of Samantha and Endora. And the Aunty who collected door knobs - do you remember? Minerva x

  6. Oh, now those were the day! Believe it or not, my own dad was a young and buff man during the 20s. He was at least 20 years older than my mother, so when I was born, he was already 54. But his stories of his youth were intriguing, and I have some fabulous photos of him and his brothers BACK IN THE DAY, with their flapper girlfriends! He did gift me a jewel that he found when he was a waiter in a fancy Los Angeles restaurant; a rose gold tie pin with a magnificent diamond.

    THANK YOU FOR COMING TO VISIT MY POST! How is Ms. Minerva the shoppe-keeping kitty? teehehehhehhee


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