Width: 6 inches
Length: 6 inches
Height: 9 inches
Hand Crafted by Africans
The Leopard is the most secretive and elusive of the large carnivores, it is also the shrewdest. This egg is decorated with a close up of the leopards face and hand painted with greenery in the background, stunning. Decoupage is the art of cutting and pasting cutouts to simulate paintings on a wood, metal, glass or in this case egg surface. Each egg takes twenty seven days to decorate, with forty to fifty coats of lacquer applied to acquire the high gloss finish. First the background is painted once it is dried a few coats of lacquer are applied with a light sanding between each layer, then the decoupage images are applied, several more layers of lacquer are applied with a light sanding between each.
Stand not included
All about Egg decoration.
The decorating of eggs (eggery) is a time honored tradition that has been around for hundreds of years.
Eggery is the art of decorating hatchery shells in the style of the famous Faberge egg. Carl Faberge, the father of modern-day egg decorating, used precious metals such as silver, gold, copper and nickel to construct an egg-shaped figure, then decorated them with rubies, diamonds and emeralds.
Over the last 3 centuries many cultures have developed endless methods of decorating eggs. The Moravian and Ukrainian (Pysanky) batik-designed egg patterned geometric fantasies, and their designs differ according to region or origin.
The practice of decorating ostrich eggs dates back centuries, and originated with the San or Bushmen who live in dessert regions, for them the egg symbolizes life, not just because an egg is a sign of fertility, but because the eggs were used as vessels to carry and store water, which in itself is life sustaining but when in a dessert region critical.
The custom of decorating eggs has many associations. The art of eggery did not begin with the Easter egg, although we don't know who the first decorator was, we do know that painted eggs as edible gifts were given by a Chinese chieftain in 722 B.C. to celebrate spring fertility festivals.
About the Ostrich.
The ostrich Struthio camelus is a large flightless bird native to Africa (and formerly the Middle East). It is the only living species of its family. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs and the ability to run at speeds of about 74 km/h (46 mph), the top land speed of any bird. The ostrich is the largest living species of bird and lays the largest egg of any bird species.
The diet of the ostrich mainly consists of plant matter, though ostriches do eat insects. The ostrich lives in nomadic groups which contain between five and 50 birds. When threatened, the ostrich will either hide itself by lying flat against the ground, or will run away. If cornered, it can cause injury and death with a kick from its powerful legs. Mating patterns differ by geographical region, but territorial males fight for a harem of two to seven females.
Ostriches are oviparous. The females will lay their fertilized eggs in a single communal nest, a simple pit, 30 to 60 cm (12–24 in) deep and 3m (9.8 ft) wide, scraped in the ground by the male. The eggs are glossy and cream in color, with thick shells marked by small pits. The eggs are incubated by the females by day and by the male by night. This uses the coloration of the two sexes to escape detection of the nest, as the drab female blends in with the sand, while the black male is nearly undetectable in the night.
About the Leopard
The most secretive and elusive of the large carnivores, the leopard is also the shrewdest. Pound for pound, it is the strongest climber of the large cats and capable of killing prey larger than itself.
Leopards come in a wide variety of coat colors, from a light buff or tawny in warmer, dryer areas to a dark shade in deep forests. The spots, or rosettes, are circular in East African leopards, but square in southern African leopards.
Dense bush in rocky surroundings and riverside forest are their favorite habitats, but leopards adapt to many places in both warm and cold climates. Their adaptability, in fact, has helped them survive the loss of habitat to increasing human settlement. Leopards are primarily nocturnal, usually resting during the daytime in trees or thick bush. The spotted coat provides almost perfect camouflage.
Leopards are solitary creatures and predominately nocturnal. Each individual has a home range that overlaps with its neighbors; the male's range is much larger and generally overlaps with those of several females. Leopards continually move about their territory, seldom staying in an area for more than two or three days at a time. Ranges are marked with urine and claw marks and leopards announce their presence to other leopards with a rasping cough. Leopards also growl, roar and purr.
A litter includes two or three cubs, whose coats appear to be smoky gray as the rosettes are not yet clearly delineated. The female abandons her nomadic wandering until the cubs are large enough to accompany her. She keeps them hidden for about the first eight weeks, giving them meat when they are six or seven weeks old and suckling them for three months or longer.
The most elusive of the large carnivores, the leopard is a cunning, stealthy hunter, its prey ranges from strong-scented carrion, fish, reptiles and birds to mammals such as rodents, hares, hyraxes, warthogs, antelopes, monkeys and baboons. Both lions and hyenas have been known to take away a leopard's kill. To prevent this, leopards store their larger kills in trees where they can feed on them in relative safety.
The most widespread of the felines, leopards occur in regions across both Africa and Asia. Indeed, their adaptability to both warm and cold climates has helped them survive the loss of habitat caused by increasing human settlement. However, leopards have long been preyed upon by man. Their soft, beautiful fur has been used for clothing. The tail, claws and whiskers of the leopard are popular as fetishes. In some areas farmers try to exterminate them, while in others leopards are considered symbols of wisdom.