Messenger - Vol. 2, No. 3, Page 16
Summer 1993
Forever Amber -- About the collection

     Among the fascinating carvings in the Burgesses' collection are a
Baltic amber carving of a Teutonic knight in armor with finely detailed
facial features, helmet, feathers, armor and shield in a butterscotch hue.
The base is an opaque amber with a thick, flaky, reddish crust similar to
the type found in the sand dune areas of northeast Poland.
     A Baltic carving of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and set in
silver shows in intricate detail the tree of life with the serpent winding
round the trunk. The carving is deep with piercing and elaborate details
defining leaves, branches and apples. It is of highly polished, opaque,
light yellow amber.
     Leda and the Swan, another Baltic amber carving, incorporates the
natural features of the amber into a sculpture that features fine detail
with piercing and full figures. The amber hue is a light yellow, mottled
from opaque to translucent, with dark yellow crust marking.
     Other favorites are a replica of the Pieta, in translucent,
cream-colored amber with orange crust markings on the back, and Atlas with
the world on his shoulders. Atlas is constructed in three pieces. The base
is polished on all sides and is white opaque to translucent yellow with
black lignite markings. The carved figure is three-dimensional translucent,
yellow butterscotch amber, and the world is a sphere of transparent, yellow
amber with brown markings, engraved with the continents.
     Another favorite is of the three Graces, goddesses from Greek
mythology, which depicts three full figures dancing with a cherub.
     Two stainless steel chalices with amber teardrop decorations and a
stainless steel bishop's cross also are included in the collection, all
made by Marion Owczarski at Saint Mary's College in Michigan. The cross
includes 29 amber pieces.
     Tiny amber snuff bottles make up yet another part of the collection.
The bottles were collected in mainland China, and all have green jade,
orange coral or white jade caps and are intricately carved, many with
dragon and blossom designs.