Width: 3 1/2 inches
Length: 5 3/4 inches
Height: 9 1/2 inches
Hand Crafted & Hand Painted By Africans
This decoupage ostrich egg has been decorated with flock of Guinea Fowl on a yellow background. Decoupage is the art of cutting and pasting cutouts to simulate paintings on a wood, metal, glass or in this case egg surface. First the egg is sanded so the natural dimples in the egg have been smoothed out, then the animals are painstakingly glued to the egg, then the layers of lacquer are applied with the egg having to dry between each application of lacquer. To achieve the high gloss finish the eggs are lightly sanded between every few layers of lacquer. This egg has about fifty layers of lacquer.
The African craftsmen have taken it one step further and made it a unique art form. This beautiful ostrich egg has been hand decorated with a rasp of guinea fowl. This piece is an amazing addition to any house or office.
Guinea Fowl, a bird related to the pheasant. It is native to Africa, but has been domesticated in the United States and other countries. The common guinea fowl is about the size of a small plump hen. Its naked head is topped by a bony ridge. The bird has slate-gray plumage dotted with round white spots. White and lavender varieties are also raised. The guinea fowl's flesh resembles the flesh of wild game in color and flavor. Guinea fowl were originally kept by farmers because their noisy cries warn other poultry of approaching danger.
As its name suggests, the helmeted guineafowl has a “helmet” on its head. A helmet is a hard hat that construction workers, bike riders, and other people wear to protect their heads. The guineafowl’s “helmet” is a hard, bony lump on its head. Male guineafowl will use this bony growth to butt another male that is trying to take its mate.The common guinea fowl is Numida meleagris of the family Numididae.
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.