top of page

An exquisite sculpture carved from a slice of an Arahura River inanga jade boulder, this outstanding piece represents the Zhar-Ptitsa or firebird of Russian and Slavic mythology: the ultimate backhanded fulfiller of wishes and dreams.


Though it looks like the mythical Phoenix, Zhar-Ptitsa is a very different beast: it'll grant any one wish to the person who catches it, no matter how complex, as long as that wish is not for immortality. That it cannot bestow; as all things die, and all things end. To gain that ultimate wish, you have to chase and catch the firebird.


And therein is its backhandedness revealed. For the pursuit of the firebird will be an arduous quest that will take from you everything you have ever known and everyone you have ever loved. Oh sure; you can wish to get back all you've lost as a part of your wish, and the firebird will grant that wish. But the person you'll become on the path to success won't be the same person who set out to claim it. That person will be gone: the pursuit will have irrevocably changed them on the path to its completion.


The legend, and this sculpture, are a reminder that things never end as they began, and that the pursuit of great things will always make a different person of us than who we were before we began. It's a reminder of the seductive song of the fire that transforms, even as it burns what it changes. It warns us to choose with care the things that we pursue, lest we find ourselves unhappy with the person our success makes of us. And it shows us not merely the inevitability, but also the beauty of that process.


This sculpture is spectacularly translucent, and as such is at best effect when placed to be viewed against a source of light, such as that coming through a nearby window. The central panel is not fixed into the base, and this is deliberate: fixing it into the base would make it difficult to safely transport due to the slenderness of the sculptural panel, and we'd far prefer that our customers not have need to report a broken sculture. The base has also been floored with green felt, which increases its traction against any surface and prevents the stone base from scratching the surface that it's to be set upon.


The piece will come disassembled and thoroughly packed for maximum durability and safety; assembly is simply a matter of slotting the panel into the base. We'll also send it by priority courier to ensure that it reaches you swiftly. This packaging is the reason for the listed 10kg delivery weight: the piece itself is roughly half this weight or slightly less.


The sculpture also includes a short description of the Zhar-Ptitsa myth on a paper scroll, and the dimensions of the piece overall are:-


Base: Height 67mm, Width 250mm, Depth 183mm.

Panel: Height Above Base 353mm, Width 104mm, Thickness 12mm.

Zhar-Ptitsa's Song

SKU: WSJ0169
    bottom of page