Mythbusters of History: More Reasons Why People Are Stupid
As you may or may not know, the show Mythbusters films primarily in San Francisco. Two guys (Adam & Jamie), along with their crew, try to find if certain myths have merit. I particularly like the episode when they proved you could raise a boat using ping pong balls like in a cartoon. There are lots of explosions and it makes some pretty entertaining television. However the myths they bust usually are along the lines of “Can I explode my stomach if I eat a ton of Pop Rocks and drink Coke?” or “Can you really make a gun out of a potato, a paper clip and a rubber band?” What I need is a team to bust the common myths of the stupid that have to do with objects from history.
The infamous “B” necklace with the 3 drop pearls that Anne Boleyn was painted wearing. It was famous in her time, it is infamous now and has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity thanks to television show “Ugly Betty”. This necklace has engendered the same mystique and popularity as the Hope Diamond. The only difference is we know where the Hope Diamond is. I myself have seen it several times. It lives in the Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian. The fate of the Boleyn necklace is lost in time.
What do we know for sure? We know it belonged to Anne and she wore it on many occasions. She was painted in it and it was remarked on. After her “fall from grace” what do we know? Zero. The property of condemned traitors was usually forfeited to the Crown (Henry) and her personal effects in the Tower were restricted. It dropped from sight and history just like her badges were eradicated from buildings, furniture and household goods.
None of the jewel inventories of Elizabeth’s that I have read note this necklace. Considering its history, it would have been recorded and recognized if she owned it. Elizabeth never wore it. As before, it was so known and had such a strong tie to her Mother it would have been remarked on. For that very reason, it would have been foolhardy for the Queen to wear it IF she had it at all. In all likelihood, it was taken apart, melted down and reworked into another piece. It is the only thing that makes sense.
Why do I mention it? Because of the gullible and the stupid. Why say something as uncharitable as that? Because it is true. It is amazing what people will believe if you just encase it in an interesting story and put it on the internet. A few religions I can name have started with less. While doing some research on my upcoming Anne Boleyn workshop, I came across a post on some tiny board. Not a board devoted to history or main stream news or even intelligent discussion. It is the kind of board where you would find douchy poser vampire kids angsting over Edward from Twilight. Again, gotta say that I really feel sorry for the Cedric Diggory kid – have no idea what his name is.
Anyway, one gal posted about the necklace, wanting to know if anyone knew if it was still around. Some mental midget with the handle of Anonymous (clever) SWORE that she knew where the necklace was. Here is the post:
“It is owned by a far off descendant of Anne’s, Canadian born woman in her 50’s and married to one of the waspy patriarch’s of NYC society (clue, in his 80’s and lives in the snobbiest penthouse in the poshest co-op in NYC)….Before that dated for a decade one of the richest men in France….Know this due to knowing the woman for ages (best friend of my mother’s) and there was a funny case in which she wanted portrait painted of her by a well known society portraitist wearing the B necklace yet he refused to paint her with it on since “it would distract from the portrait…..”, Lord! Anyways don’t know or never asked her why she would never wear it in public, its in a safety deposit box in London…..Can’t mention her name or my mother will kill me literally. Enough jewelry gossipy chatter for today!
Really? REALLY? Do people really have such a sad life that they have to make stuff like this up in order to feel important? I think I’m going to make up some story about The Amber Room or the jeweled Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam that went down on the Titanic. Yeah, I have that in my attic. Here is my story that I should put out there.
“The greatest treasure on the Titanic was “The Great Omar”, a gold and jeweled large copy version of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. It had 1,000 faceted jewels set into the cover. It was listed as being lost with the ship. What people don’t know is that the Rubaiyat was the inspiration for the Heart of the Ocean necklace in the movie Titanic. My aunt’s, brother-in-laws family was from old money in Chicago. They had purchased it and were going to give it as a wedding present to their daughter Rose. It was secretly smuggled off the ship in the diaper of a steerage orphan baby that her maid saved and then given to Rose’s fiancé John (Jack) since she died in the sinking. The book was given to him, not the orphan baby. The family collected the insurance money and he kept the Rubaiyat to remind him of his lost love. One day his son met James Cameron at a pricey gym in Beverly Hills (they shared personal trainers) and he told him the story when he heard the director was interested in making a story of the Titanic.”
Like my story? It’s true! I swear and if I put it on the internet it’s DOUBLY true! In all honestly, if you are not familiar with the story, check out this REAL website and learn about this amazing artifact that is lost forever: http://www.bookbinding.co.uk/History.htm Just like that damn necklace.