“The Omphalus of Earth”
Carved Koroit Matrix Opal, carved
carved Lapis Lazuli
and cast Sterling Silver,
Koroit Matrix Opal
105 grams, or 525 carats.
470 grams, or 2,350 carats
carved in wax and then cast
Dimensions: 4 ¼” x 4 ½” x 3⅛”
This Gem Sculpture portrays
“The Omphalus of Earth”,
The Navel or Bellybutton of the Earth.
The natural Opal is carved so that the bright
spider-web patterns are featured in the front of the stone.
Helen’s characteristic engraved lines are
traversing the opal front and back,
converging in the front center,
and creating the Omphalus.
The Opal is removable from the Silver cradle
so that it can be enjoyed up-close like a kaleidoscope
with its bouncing flashes of fire in the Opal seems.
It can be held in the palm as a “worry-stone”,
to pet, fondle, meditate or dream.
According to Greek mythology,
Zeus wanted to find out
where the center of the universe was,
so he let two eagles loose from two
opposite points in space,
one from the east and one from the west.
The eagles eventually met over Delphi,
thus determining that Delphi was
the center of the world, the navel of the earth.
The famous Delphic Omphalus is
a marble sculpture exhibited today at the entrance
of the Archeological Museum at Delphi, Greece.
This Hellenistic sculpture is an ancient copy
of the sacred one that was kept in the
Sanctuary [adyton] of the Temple of Apollo.
Delphi was the ancient renowned site where oracles were given.
It was a small town, populated since about 1400BC,
set up on the mountains with a breathtaking view
of the valley with the sea in the background.
It was destroyed at the end of the Mycenean period,
but was revived around the 8th century BC.
Apollo began to be worshipped there and soon Delphi
became known as an oracle center with worldwide fame and power.
Several kings and noblemen send magnificent gifts
as votive offerings for oracles given.
Delphi’s glory, power and fame exceeded that
of any other oracle center, and the treasures
that were accumulated were beyond any precedent.
The oracles (prophesies) were delivered by Apollo
using Pythia, a woman, as the medium.
[“Ancient Greek Ivory Carvings” by Helen Serras-Herman, 1999, 2001]
The male figure of the Sterling Silver cradle
of the The Omphalus of Earth
that holds the Opal, represents the
God figure of either Zeus or Apollo,
both closely associated with the legend.
Koroit Matrix Opal is Precious Opal veinsLapis Lazuli from Afghanistan, the finest quality
in ironstone matrix, with spider-web patterns,
similar to Yowah Opal which is known
for its circular patterns.
Koroit is 200 miles away from Yowah,
in Queensland, Australia.
of Lapis in the world, comes from the ancient
historic mines of Badakhshan.
These mines, which have been in operation
for over 6,500 years,
are at the site of ancient Bactria,
the far Eastern end
of the ancient Greek civilization,
located at the crossroads of the
Persian and Indian civilizations.
The word Lapis Lazuli comes from a
medieval Latin term “lazulus stone”,
which probably originated from the
Arabic word lazward, used for the sky and anything blue.
[“Gemstones of Afghanistan”, Gary W. Bowersox, 1995]
Sterling Silver cast by Annapolis Precious Metals (APM), Annapolis, MD
The Omphalus of Earth
the "Best of Show" award
at.Fall Fine Art exhibit titled
"Pathways and Portals"
at the "Tubac Center of the Arts",
in Tubac, AZ,
Click the buttons below to see former Premiere pieces:
text and images on this website are Copyright © 2003-2012
to the Gem Art Center and Helen Serras-Herman.
All rights are reserved. No part of this website can be used or
reproduced in any way, anywhere, without the written permission
of the artist and author Helen Serras-Herman.
Page last modified 01/13/12.
Comments, suggestions, and website problems
may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org