Garlic Festival Memories with Garlic and Bat Jewelry by Carrie Adell

Carrie Adell Garlic and Bat

Carrie Adell Garlic and Bat

A few weeks ago, I received a call asking about a sterling silver garlic clove pendant that opened up and contained a tiny chained, 14K gold bat. Had I had made this remarkable piece of jewelry? The woman on the other end of the line was describing one of Carrie Adell’s Garlic and Bat Pendants. It had become her talisman and the gold bat had flown away.

She was undergoing medical treatment and needed her good luck Garlic and Bat charm to carry her back to health. I gave her the sad news that Carrie had passed away but that I was familiar with the piece she was asking about. I also told her that I had not one, but two of the charms….and that strangely enough, the bat on my second pendant had also flown away. (She inquired if I would sell her my remaining gold bat, but I declined.)

I didn’t know Carrie well, but our paths crossed many years back at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. We admired each others unique work and made a trade.  Although I don’t remember what Carrie chose of my jewelry, my booty was two of her sterling silver garlic clove pendants with the 14K gold bat.

By the end of my conversation with the woman, I agreed that one way or another,  I would recreate the bat for her. Both in honor of Carrie and because I know that this woman needs to be wearing her Garlic and Bat Pendant, I took time today to recreate the tiny bat in wax.  This is a photo of Carrie’s original piece and of the wax that I have carved to replicate the missing gold bat.

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While Carrie Adell’s pieces are no longer available, you can view my bat jewelry collection and garlic jewelry collection . I will be at the Gilroy Garlic Festival July 29 – July 31.

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5 Responses to Garlic Festival Memories with Garlic and Bat Jewelry by Carrie Adell

  1. Rachael Johansen says:

    OMG- my heart jumped out of my chest when I did a search for silver garlic tonight and found this entry. My mom bought this pendant for her mom years ago out of what she swears was a DeYoung Museum Christmas catalog of local artists (we live in Oakland). She lent it to me after my grandmother died and it got stolen with all of my other jewelry from my house in 2004. I have been looking for it or another ever since….mostly on ebay. Do you have any idea where else I should be looking?

    thanks so much,
    Rachael

  2. Stephen says:

    I too know the work of Carrie Adell having worked with her when we had these pieces in the De Young Museum Museum Society Catalogue c. 1977. The garlic pendants were on page one of the catalogue and the description read “We can’t guarantee that this hinged garlic will ward off evil as legend suggests, but the 18k gold bat on a 14k “bat-leash” is sure to charm. Cast like many pieces in our own collection, using the “lost wax” method. By Carrie Adell.”

    #428 Silver w/gold bat $66.
    #418 14k $312.

  3. Chris Gaynor says:

    My sister has a gold garlic and bat taliman from our beloved aunt Carrie (aka “Aunt Mommy”: our mothers were identical twins), and I have an intact silver garlic, no hinges or bat. Her daughter, my cousin Jo Qatana Adell has Carrie’s unsold works, and is an accomplished jewelery designer in her own right.
    Thanks for sharing your story. It was quite moving.

    • marty says:

      Hi Chris, Thank you for sharing your connection to Carrie. I would be interested to see the sort of work that your mother makes. Marty

  4. Bev Iris says:

    As it turns out, several of Carrie’s pieces are still around and available for sale. Her daughter Jo is a long time acquaintance of mine, and is in possession of several of her pieces.

    Bev

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