Fishpan alert. Skip this post if you are offended by single-use silver implements. You were forewarned.
I lived and worked in Indonesia for several years in the early 1990’s and continued to visit the country frequently until a few years ago. Based in Jakarta during the week, we (Mrs. MM and I, no kid yet) headed out of the city on weekends, either back home to our permanent residence in Singapore, or fairly frequently, to the enchanting island of Bali. Mrs. MM and I loved our brief stays on the island, and we must have visited nearly two dozen times in all. We had our favorite haunts back then, but really it was more about getting away from a very hectic job and simply relaxing in some over-the-top hotel for a couple of nights at a time. And the Balinese are such wonderful people, so gentle, so spiritual, so accommodating to tourists. On one of our visits, we picked up this gorgeous sterling silver magnifying glass. I am blind as a bat without my eyeglasses, so that seemed like a good enough reason to buy a magnifying glass… but no, what really attracted us to this piece is that it was handcrafted by local artisans, using a traditional method of hammering silver discs. I believe the piece was designed and manufactured in the atelier of John Hardy, a foreigner who set up shop in Bali and who has since become rather famous for his beautiful silver pieces. Several chi-chi shops in the U.S. and Europe now carry his unique designs, but we certainly didn’t know that at the time. I have to admit, I rarely USE this item, it is more of a beautiful white elephant really, just something to enjoy as a visual feast. I also like holding it once in a while, it has a reassuring smoothness to it despite the pattern, and its heft is strangely comforting. A pain in the rear to clean, it has developed a nice patina over the years and while it may be something Mrs MM and i enjoy, some others would certainly raise an eyebrow or two quizzically… Here the magnifying glass is photographed on pages of an Atlas of old maps… it seemed an appropriate setting for a favorite doodad.