Lizzie Widdicombe, in this week’s New Yorker, describes the beautiful people taking in the Bactrian Treasure Horde (fresh from darkest Afghanistan) at the Met, nibbling mutton at La Grenouille, and lamenting still another of Darth Cheney’s enormities.
Elisabetta Valtz-Fino, the exhibitâ€™s curator, led a tour of the treasures, which included tiger, dolphin, and ram designs (the nomads loved animals). There was a jeweller in the crowdâ€”Tim McClelland, of McTeigue & McClelland jewellers, which helped sponsor the eventâ€”and he studied the back of a collapsible gold crown. â€œThis is the Hubble space telescope of jewelry,â€ he said. Adrianne Dicker-Kadzinski, a former Morgan Stanley investment banker, said she had done a stint in Afghanistan, in 2004, with the U.S. Army Reserve. â€œKabul itself was very sad,â€ she said. â€œThe whole country is like a moonscapeâ€”brown, brown, brown.â€
Afterward, there was a lamb dinner at La Grenouille (â€œI feel very Afghan eating this,â€ the writer Ann Marlowe said) and a raffle: all the guests received little keys; one of them opened a treasure chest containing a special gold-and-lapis bracelet made by McClelland. (The winner was a J. P. Morgan asset manager named Sophie Bosch de Hood.)
As excited as people were to have seen the Bactrian jewels, a sadness wafted over the evening: because of security concerns, the hoard canâ€™t be displayed in Afghanistan. â€œIâ€™m so mad at Dick Cheney,â€ said Caroline Firestone, an eighty-year-old philanthropist, who has known the former Vice-President for a long time. â€œI once gave him my house in Wyoming so he could stay there at Christmas. And he never let me come and talk to him about Afghanistan.â€