Dia: The Golden Apple by J. David

The seeds of the Trojan War lie in a dispute between Athena (the goddess of wisdom), Hera (queen of the gods), and Aphrodite (the goddess of love and beauty). A golden apple inscribed with the words “to the fairest” rolls into a party on Mt. Olympus. Each of the three goddesses believes the apple is addressed to her. They ask Paris, a mortal man, to judge their beauty, offering him great gifts in exchange for the coveted apple: Hera offers him power and wealth; Athena offers him wisdom above all others; and Aphrodite offers him the love of most beautiful woman in the world. Paris awards the apple to Aphrodite, and runs off with Helen of Sparta, wife of King Menelaus--thus launching the Trojan war.

This three faced doll depicts all three goddess in one head. United by their golden hair Athena is recognized by her helmet, Hera by her laurel crown, and Aphrodite by spring blossoms. The values of love, power, and wisdom can be interchanged or combined to hold the prize of a golden apple inscribed with the words “to the fairest.”

Asika: The Dagger by J. David

In Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid, the seven sisters of the little mermaid sell their hair to the sea-witch in exchange for an enchanted dagger. They present the dagger to their youngest sister, now a human, urging her to stab the heart of her beloved prince and spill his blood on her legs--for only through this sacrifice will her human legs bond together and become a tail once more. The witch’s magic has thus trapped the little mermaid between two stark choices: she must either kill the prince she loves, or cast herself into the sea to die.

Asika--Sanskrit for “dagger”--wears a headpiece of polished white porcelain that evokes the ocean waves. The faces of the seven mermaid princesses peer through the waves as they await their youngest sister. Her shoes and bra, fashioned of polished white porcelain with white silk ribbon and sterling silver clasps, also recall the surf. Asika embodies the little mermaid’s state of mind as she grasps the sterling silver dagger and contemplates sacrifice and true love.

Laila: The Spider Woman

This temptress, whose name in Arabic means “dark beauty”, draws inspiration from the Hindu goddess Kali, “the Black One” the wellspring of eternal energy. Beautiful and mysterious, veiled and darkly erotic, Laila and her many limbs present a myriad of possible poses.

Laila’s six arms are strung together at her shoulders, under her shoulder blades, and at the small of her back. All eight of her limbs fade from charcoal black at the finger tips and toes to white at the shoulders and hips. The veil of tarnished sterling silver beaded with crystal “dew drops” heightens Laila’s mystique.

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Copyright © 2011 Marina Bychkova.