For Mitzi Perdue, eggs hatch into art

The Baltimore Sun

If it takes a tough man to make a tender chicken, who could possibly be up to this task: making a $2,500 jeweled evening bag out of an ostrich egg? The tough guy's chick, that's who.

While describing some of Nancy Grasmick's fancy-schmancy knickknacks the other day, I mentioned that Frank Perdue's widow makes "faux Faberge eggs," one of which sits in the state school superintendent's living room.

Fowl! cried Mitzi Perdue, all the way from Paris, where she was visiting friends.

"No, no, no, my goodness, no!" she e-mailed me. "My eggs are not Faux Faberge, they are real, genuine, authentic, bona fide, money-back-guaranteed, Perdue Eggs! And by the way, in case you are curious, in the Perdue family, we know which came first: the chicken did."

Mrs. Perdue was housebound with a back injury and looking for a hobby when she hatched her egg art hobby. "Since my husband was known as 'the Chicken Man,' I thought it would be fun to decorate eggs so I could be 'an Egg Woman,'" she wrote.

She directed me to her Web site,, to see her online gallery of jewel cases, clocks and, yes, handbags, all ornate and all made of egg shells. The ostrich egg-turned-evening bag stood out. Adorned with a gold chain strap, glittering jewels and a classic cameo, the purse opens and closes with a little gold clasp.

"Probably long about now you might have a curiosity about price," Mitzi writes on the site. "Are you sitting down? ... I sell this Jeweled EveningEgg for $2500. Ones that are painted with no jewels are $1000."

Who'd shell out that much for what, one assumes, is the world's most fragile purse? Mrs. Perdue says her purses are as tough as the Chicken Man.

"I coat them inside and out with a special two-part resin that makes them so break-resistant that I've actually stood on one without damaging it," she writes on the site. "(I don't recommend that anyone else do this, but ... I was relieved to discover just how tough they are.)"

Don't nod or you might get stuck with the check

Maybe Michael Bloomberg has given away too many millions to Johns Hopkins, his alma mater. Or maybe he's about to run for president and needs all the cash he can get. But the gazillionaire mayor of New York asked a complete stranger to pick up his dinner tab not long ago, and that stranger was Baltimore attorney Andrew Radding.

OK, Bloomberg was only joking when he asked, but still!

Radding was out to dinner in New York with his wife and daughter last month and, spotting two guys with earpieces and lapel pins, knew a big-wig also was dining that night at Lure Fish House in SoHo.

"Wonder who it is? Probably in a private room," they surmised before being seated - right next to the Big Apple's biggest wig.

Radding nodded in the mayor's direction, and the mayor, dining with another man and two women, nodded back. That was it, until the restaurant manager came down to greet the mayor and Bloomberg thanked the manager for the fine service and meal.

"Then he looks at me, and [says], 'And I'd like to thank you for picking up my tab,'" Radding said. "We laughed. And I said, 'It would be my honor.'"

But in the end, the mogul mayor paid his own way.

Connect the dots

A flying tomato was spotted at Morton's Steakhouse Wednesday night, but nobody needed to duck. Professional snowboarder and skateboarder Shaun White, known as The Flying Tomato because of his red mane, was in the Baltimore restaurant. Based in Carlsbad, Calif., the 2006 Olympic halfpipe champ is in Charm City to compete in the Dew Tour. ... From The Sun's holiday fireworks calendar listings for July 1: "Hereford Optimist Club, 17220 York Road, Hereford (Rain date: July 2)." Why does an optimist club need a rain date? ... Martin and Katie O'Malley have a contract on the 4 BR, 2 1/2 BA Northeast Baltimore house they traded for the governor's mansion. Listed in mid-April for $350,000, the price was later reduced to $339,900. Listing agent Sean O'Conor of O'Conor and Mooney said he couldn't reveal the price or the buyer until after settlement. That's expected to take place in July, assuming all goes well with the inspections, which haven't been done yet.

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