Width: 6 inches
Length: 6 inches
Height: 9 inches
Hand Crafted in South Africa
The African big five are the five African animals that people want to see the most, Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Rhino and Cape Buffalo, the one side of the egg has the African Big Five while the other is decorated with a map of Africa, like a globe. Each egg takes twenty seven days to decorate, with several 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, the egg is finished with some gold accents. By applying the art to the egg in this way it gives the egg a multi-dimensional appearance instead of a flat appearance.
Stand not included
About the Big Five.
LIONS - King of Beasts
Mention a safari to Africa, and one animal springs immediately to mind - lion! This, the so-called King of Beasts, is on everybody's list of animals to see. This fascination is no doubt due to the size and awesome power of this large cat, and its hunting prowess. But it may also have something to do with the human psyche, for our hominid ancestors on the African plains had to contend with lions as competitors and enemies on a daily basis. Perhaps they still dwell deep in our subconscious mind!
THE AFRICAN ELEPHANT - Gardeners of the Savannah
The African Elephant is the largest land mammal and perhaps the continent's most charismatic creature. Few animals are as closely linked to the welfare of mankind - for elephants have the potential to greatly modify the vegetation of landscapes, destroy the crops of subsistence farmers as well as create wealth through their valuable ivory tusks. There is little doubt that elephants have played a vital role in the economic history of the continent. Today, visitors to Africa's wildlife reserves and wilderness areas are captivated by the power and grace of these magnificent animals and by their apparent sensitivity and compassion.
WHITE RHINOCEROS - Great Grazer
Perhaps the first thing people wonder about the white rhinoceros is why it has its name. It is certainly not white in colour and actually has the same skin tone as its cousin, the black rhino. In fact, the name is thought to have been derived from the Dutch word "weid" meaning "wide" in reference to the animal's broad, wide mouth.
BLACK RHINOCEROS - Black Beauty
The Black Rhinoceros has a hooked, prehensile nose, carrying its head high on its shoulders, as opposed to the low-hanging head and hump-shoulders of its relative, the grazing White Rhino. Predominantly a browser of short woody trees and shrubs, the Black Rhinoceros uses its pointed upper lip to grasp leaves and twigs, employing its double horns to dig roots or break branches too far out of reach. Its grey, wrinkled skin varies in color due to the mud and dust in which it frequently wallows to cool down and protect against flies and sun. The two species of African rhino are similar in height, averaging about 1.6m at the shoulder, but the Black Rhinoceros has roughly half the mass of a White Rhinoceros, weighing in at a demure 1000 kg.
BUFFALO - Flanks of Ebony, Horns of Steel
A large herd of buffalo is an unforgettable sight. Heads raised, horns glinting, massive fringed ears and noses twitching in search of danger. Closely related to the domestic cow, the African buffalo is one of the most successful and perhaps ecologically important mammals on the African continent. Buffalo are completely dependent upon surface water, so are absent from arid and semi-arid regions but are widespread and common in savannah, woodland and forest environments. Not surprisingly, however, they provide good meat and few now survive beyond the borders of wildlife reserves and other protected areas. Buffalo are also host to several diseases which are lethal to domestic cattle and so have been eliminated from areas suitable for ranch lands.
LEOPARD - Prince of Darkness
Few animals possess the mysterious aura of the leopard. 'Prince of
Darkness' and 'Silent Hunter' are frequent epithets for this traditionally
elusive cat. Like the lion, the leopard has been held in awe by generations
of people across Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Although an infrequent
man-killer, leopards elicit fear and dread among rural people whose
domestic animals may be at risk to these cunning predators. The leopard is
the most adaptable of the large predators and may still be found in close
proximity to man, even, sometimes, on the outskirts of large cities. It is able
to survive in just about any environment, being at home in forest,
savannah, desert, or mountain top. The body of a leopard
was once found in the snowfields on Mount Kilimanjaro
at an altitude of some 4500 meters!
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, twelve to twenty four inches deep and nine feet and a half 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.
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