Sunday, October 4, 2015


Ivaan considered this his preeminent piece.  It's large, it's heavy, it's gold, and it's set with 30 rubies, making it very appropriate as the final selection for 30 Pieces of Silver.

I think Ivaan made this heart in about 1999.  I wear it from time to time because one day some rich person will come along and buy it, and then I won't have a chance to.  Till then, it's mine.

There's a great story associated with this piece.  If you've read the whole series, you may remember the story of Ivaan's corkscrews, which he managed to convince himself I had thrown out.  Those flights of fancy were so characteristic of Ivaan that just writing about them I can feel my blood pressure rising.

In 2005, when his studio was in a warehouse building two doors away from our house, Ivaan reported to me that he'd left this heart lying on his mahogany work table, and that some workmen who had come in to install an HVAC system had stolen it.  Initially I believed him, because it's such a spectacular piece, and I could imagine how someone would be tempted. What I couldn't imagine was why he would have left it on his work table. After all, it was a finished piece.

I suggested calling the HVAC company.  I suggested calling the police.  I ought to have been suspicious when Ivaan insisted that this would do no good, that the piece was gone forever and he'd never recover from the loss.

A year later, I was in Ivaan's dressing room, sorting and cleaning out his dressing table.  In the very back of the top left hand drawer, where Ivaan kept his handkerchiefs, his cufflinks, his formalwear accessories and his yarmulke, there was the gold and ruby heart.  The devil got the better of me.  Hiding it in my hand, I went to Ivaan and asked, "Remember that gold and ruby heart that the workmen stole?"  Ivaan groaned.  "Don't remind me", he replied.  "It's funny", I began, but Ivaan interrupted me angrily.  "What's so funny about it?", he asked. 'I'll take the memory of it to my grave."

I paused for dramatic effect. "What's funny is that after they stole it, they broke in here and hid it in your dresser drawer", I answered, and opened my hand to reveal the heart.

"Oh", said Ivaan.  Just that one word.  "Oh".

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