Jewelry book to add to your holiday wishlist


This holiday, jewelry fans who love a good book on the subject – almost as much as the urge to buy a rare piece of jewelry – will be delighted with the selection of recently released tomes. They are exceptional and visually appealing as well as enchanting and educational to read. Here are four of the best of the season:

Past presence

One of the books I recommend to friends who want a readable, educational, beautifully illustrated book to learn more about antique and vintage jewelry is Understanding jewelry, by authorities and authors David Bennett and Daniela Mascetti. Unlike many other encyclopedic and informative books spanning different centuries, this one is easy to, yes… “understand” and is not academic reading but rather an enjoyable scholarly adventure through the past and a feast for the eyes to see. the novice and the consummate fan and collector of jewelry. Now, in the continuity of the original, published since 1989, the authors have zoomed in on a century. In this new book, Bennett and Mascetti focus on the 20e and the houses and designers who defined jewelry throughout this period. Understanding Jewelry: The 20th Century (ACC Art Books, November 2021) delves into the history, styles, movements, techniques and popular brands of each decade and includes 500 new photographs of jaw-dropping jewelry, inspiring jewelry you’ll want to see again and again.

David Bennett was Global President of the International Jewelery Division of Sotheby’s and President of Sotheby’s Switzerland. Having worked as an auctioneer with the company since 1978, Bennett is recognized internationally as an authority on jewelry and has sold four of the five most expensive jewelry in auction history. Daniela Mascetti was President of Sotheby’s Joaillerie in Europe. She joined Sotheby’s in 1980, opening the Milan-based firm’s department. She was one of Sotheby’s most experienced scholars in the history of jewelry. Her research has contributed to several notable auctions, from the Duchess of Windsor’s Jewelry to the collections of Elton John and Gina Lollobrigida.

The new book came out shortly after Sotheby’s alumni launched their own website Understanding jewelry which offers a virtual tour of the subject of the original book with a more personalized approach to guide jewelry lovers through the history, beauty, provenance and details of antique and vintage jewelry. As for this edition, it is a great gift for anyone interested in the jewelry that characterizes and crosses the years 1900 to 2000.

Diamond Days

Diamonds: Diamond stories (Assouline in partnership with The Natural Diamond Council, published October 2021) It’s like opening up a treasure trove of gripping visuals of the old and new guard that brings to life the stories and history that created the mystique around. natural diamonds. He looks back on the big brand houses and moves on to the present and the future by citing small independent companies, pioneers who revolutionized the industry and changed the way women perceive wearing diamonds on a daily basis. It’s a huge tabletop tome with vibrant photos and anecdotes from designers, stylists, celebrities, journalists and influencers with the common thread being their love for natural diamonds. From Cartier, Chopard, Tiffany & Co. to Elizabeth Taylor’s legendary diamonds, from Hope Diamond to new pieces by Anna Khouri, Nikos Koulis and Fernando Jorge, this tome is full of not only beautiful gems, but also the feeling that Designers derive from creation pieces to those who own and wear them.

In his preface, Edward Enninful, editor-in-chief of British Vogue writes: “In today’s world, diamonds are as steeped in luxury, glamor and aspirations as they have been throughout history, but as the representation of these ideas changes, the diamond also changes. I am excited about a fashion landscape where diamonds have become accessible to anyone who dares to dream; where modern women wear their grandmothers’ diamonds with jeans and a t-shirt and become part of their everyday style; where young men are as dazzled by diamonds as their girlfriends; and where daring designers, pioneering hip-hop artists and the trend-setting streetwear community inspire us to use diamonds in new and progressive ways.

And Law Roach sums it up with the quote, “[Jewelry] has the power to transport you or transform you into who you want to be, not to change you, but simply to accentuate who you already are.

This book is at the top of my gift lists and should be yours if you’re looking for the perfect piece of jewelry to give a loved one this holiday season.

Heart and soul

The soul of jewelry (Flammarion, November 2021 published in collaboration with Chaumet) is unlike any other jewelry book you will read. And you’ll want to keep reading this one even though its weight and size won’t allow for easy transportation. While it may reside on your coffee table for accessibility, it is not your traditional coffee table book – Photos bring jewelry to life in vivid and extraordinary images that are as unique as the pieces chosen and the way whose book was organized. The concept is one that appeals to the jewelry enthusiast with its different perspectives and themes which are written by a range of experts in different creative and intellectual fields. For example, botanist Marc Jeanson wrote a chapter titled Jewelry as an object of nature and features exquisite flora and fauna adorned with Chaumet jewelry, such as a diamond and green enamel clover, which once belonged to Empress Eugenie, a breathtaking pansy diamond tiara, a stone lily tiara precious and rose and white gold that transforms into brooches and necklace. There are chapters that are written by a philosopher, novelist, composer and perfumer and others from different disciplines, each deepening to find the heart, character and soul of jewelry. These multiple perceptions of jewelry are designed to “dazzle the reader emotionally as well as rationally,” the foreword reads. Each photo is more spectacular than the next, some from the Chaumet archives and others seen through the eyes and creative lens of photographers. Simone Cavadini and Julia Hetta. You’ll want to keep coming back to your favorite sections that you might have a lot of if you’re anything like me. But maybe my favorite is the last chapter in which the jewelry is all worn in the hair of different models, photographed by Julia Hetta. He is intitulated Jewelry as objects of dreams. She is quoted in the book: “I wish to make images that are timeless and communicate to the human soul, filled with dreams and imaginations. The place of the dream and the imaginary must be evoked in the viewer.

The fact that the descriptions, stories, quotes and texts come from different worlds than that of the author or jewelry historian has created a rich tapestry of glimpses and perspectives on the dream world, mysterious and marvelous of fine jewelry.

The butterfly theory

Wallace Chan is a visionary, an ingenious rebel who pushed the boundaries to create innovative and unconventional pieces to create beauty and grace. Chan revolutionized jewelry making techniques and created some of the most enchanting butterflies that flutter like no other. The book Winged Beauty: The Art of Wallace Chan’s Butterfly Jewelry (ACC Art Books, September 2021) features 30 of Chan’s most fascinating butterflies.

The significance of the butterfly throughout history has always symbolized transformation and Chan has been instrumental in creating innovative gemstone carving techniques; porcelain stronger than steel and other materials that echo the intricacies for which Chan is known to all spring up in his butterfly designs – his emblem that has accompanied him since watching a movie when he was young boy in which these delicate creatures represented a love story for him.

The accompanying text for her delicate and graceful three-dimensional winged creatures that often appear to fly was written by jewelry experts who explore the personal and cultural significance of these colorful brooches and necklaces. Authors include Emily Stoehrer, jewelry curator at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; Melanie Grant, luxury editor for The Economist and 1843 Magazine; Juliet Weir-de La Rochefoucauld, jewelry expert and author of books; Ming Liu, lifestyle writer for the Financial Times who often writes special articles on watches and jewelry and Vanessa Cron who is in charge of the ‘Jewelery Design History’ class at the University of Art and Design of Geneva.

When you land on this book, if you haven’t got an appreciation for butterflies or Chan’s work yet, after reading you will be in awe of both.


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