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Entries in jewelry book review (14)

Book Review: Women Jewellery Designers  

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ACC Publishing will release their newest jewelry book--the oversized and highly impressive book is titled Women Jewellery Designers by Juliet Weir-de La Rochefoucauld. My review can be found in my latest article for the Observer: These 4 Women Are the Biggest Innovators in Jewelry Design 

Here's the link:

http://observer.com/2017/08/women-jewelry-design-history-innovators-book-review/

You can order your copy here:

 

Book Review: Jewels on Queen by Anne Schofield

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Receiving jewelry books for the holidays is one of my favorite things ever. I usually have some down time in between Christmas and New Year's where I try to organize my life, my goals, get my mind focused, and a lot of this is done without leaving my house for a few days. Rather than feeling cooped up, I actually enjoy this time of year and take a few days off to lose myself into a good jewelry book. This time around I couldn't wait to read Jewels on Queen by Anne Schofield, a gift from my mom. I read the entire book front to back in one sitting and it left me wanting more--so obviously that's when Googling began. But overall, I felt this is such a lovely book.

So what exactly does this book feature? Unlike the title, you may first guess that the book is all about the Queen of England and her jewelry collection. The book actually does not mention the Queen at all--in fact, it is about another "queen," a well-known antique shop located on Queen Street in Australia, Anne Schofield Antiques. This book is amazing because it delves into Anne's collection--things she has purchased, sold and acquired--over the past 50 years of being an antiques dealer. It is like my "Jewelry Collection Stories" only in book form; more in depth and LOTS of pictures.  If you enjoy that type of reading, then you'll love this book as much as I do.

The beginning of Jewels on Queen gives you a little background and insight into Anne's life and how she ended up being an antique jewelry dealer/shop owner. Her story is really unique and I actually related to a few parts that were almost identical to my story. The chapters are broken down into jewelry categories that Anne specialized the most in--like cameos, sentimental jewelry, souvenir jewelry, Art Deco, etc. Every chapter highlights her personal story relating to the topic and shows some really iconic pieces she has come across over her career. Anne has a special story about her visits to London--like visiting Wartski and SJ Phillips. I love the details and revelations about her personal life that she mixes in with the jewelry stories--it's fun and easy reading.

Anne Schofield's Antiques is still open today in Woollahra, Australia. If you can't hop on a plane and visit, I suggest buying this book and learning about Anne and her story from the comfort of your home!  Happy reading!

To purchase your own copy of Jewels on Queen by Anne Schofield, click below:

Book Review: Lydia Courteille Extraordinary Jewellery of Imagination and Dreams

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I opened up this book knowing very little about the French designer Lydia Courteille. I've seen her incredible designs on Rihanna, at trade shows, in magazines, and every time I see one of her pieces, I have a slight heart attack. Her over-the-top and bold creativity is something that I vibe with, so I was really curious and excited that this monograph depicting her life, inspirations and collections was published. Actually, I take that back, it comes out November 16th, but I luckily got my hands on an advance copy thanks to the publisher. I made the bad decision of finally snuggling up to this book around 10:30 pm on a Friday night, thinking I would just look at the pictures and fall asleep. Nope. I was awake until early morning, reading, gazing and overly relating to this incredible woman and feeling so many connections that I never knew!  

What caught my attention were many of the depictions of her life growing up, her penchant for antique jewelry and how it opened up the jewelry world for her, and to learn Lydia is a gemologist as well!  Like I said, so many relatable moments while reading, I had to rub my eyes a few times. I love the tales from her childhood and the nuances that have connected her to the world of jewelry. Small items or events in her life have all shaped and steered her in the direction of jewelry and it is wonderful to read about these subtle hints she experienced growing up. Acknowledging them and connecting them is so fun. 

Her jewelry is art--it is colorful beyond all rainbows and in a league of its own.  As you can see from the photos above which I took of some of my favorite pages, she has so many different inspirations. Things like architecture of her beloved Paris, literature, film, her love of unusual gemstones, memento mori, and of course antique jewelry. Lydia has a knack for juxtaposing two completely unique things, creating gorgeous harmony which has her collectors wanting more. I hope to someday meet Lydia and her head-turning jewels. If only the setting could be in Paris at her atelier at Place Vendóme. That would be just as dreamy as this book. Happy reading!

To order your own copy:

Book Review: GEM the Definitive Visual Guide

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Earlier this year I finally did something every American needs to do at least once in their lifetime: I visited Washington DC and the Smithsonian. I could have spent the entire day, from open until close, in the National Museum of Natural History--their National Gem & Mineral Collection is one of the best, not to mention some of the most exquisite finished pieces of jewelry, each with such incredible history. When I found out about the newest book release from the Smithsonian, I knew it was going to be comprehensive and chalk-full of colorful examples of all things I love (gems and jewels). And hey, I was right. I've been flipping and stopping, gawking and reading all day. 

First off, the breakdown. The Introduction highlights the basics, because whether you're a student or a novice, a professional or a graduate gemologist, we all need to review the foundation. The best part about the intro is the photos--vibrant depictions of each term and visually appealing on every level. The next section brings Native Elements to life: gold, silver, platinum, copper, bronze and diamonds, mixed in with some special vignettes about important and noteworthy pieces. The largest section, speaking in terms of breadth and depth, is all about Gemstones! From Agate to Zircon and everything in between, each stone is given a description, scientific specs, and gorgeous examples featuring the particular gem in different forms (rough, faceted, carved, set in jewelry, etc). Rocks and Minerals make up the final section of the book, before the very end--a very handy directory, glossary and index. 

Hopefully my photos will give you an idea as well of what this amazing book is all about! I think it is perfect for every gem lover, jewelry enthusiast, or person who loves to learn. This book needs to be in the libraries of every middle school and high school! If I happened upon this when I was in middle school, my future in the gem and jewelry industry may have started even earlier than it did.  My jewelry book library is pretty extensive, but this particular title is unlike anything out there.  I love it!

*Full disclosure, I received my press copy for free. 

To order your own:

Book Review: Toward an Art History of Medieval Rings by Sandra Hindman

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My latest summer reading is off to a great start!  This week has been nothing but dreary, overcast days--perfect for an afternoon spent reading books. It only has taken me a few sittings to be nearly finished with this one, it is called: Towards an Art History of Medieval Rings: A Private Collection by Sandra Hindman.  The book takes you through a collection of rare medieval rings--35 to be precise.  Each ring has a description and several short paragraphs about it, how it relates to the time period, the symbolism/materials used/etc, and also sometimes gives a references to another ring(s) from other private collections that are similar and compares them. Also referenced are paintings from the time period that reveal clues to how a circa date was put onto the pieces or any other significant connections between the two. What one must understand is this time period has such a scarce amount of examples that are present today that each one is not only a rare piece of history but a primary clue into the time period. 

The first examples of rings date back to the Byzantine Empire, with some examples of early Christian rings. An early Cristian marriage ring is a part of the collection, with an engraved portrait of a facing couple on the front of the ring. The example is roughly from the year 500.  The next chapter depicts Early Medieval rings, with my favorite being the Viking braided ring, which dates back to the 9th century.  The Gothic time period is illustrated next, with cusped rings first showing up during this time period--a derivative of the claw settings.  The 13th-14th centuries producing some great fede rings, intaglios and my favorite from this particular collection--a gothic heart ring. There is also an example of a pendant from the 15th century that is inscribed "sadness is pleasure" on a heart shape, with tears engraved on the other side.  That's amazing!  The last chapter focuses on Renaissance rings, again with an example of a cusped ring, a merchant signet ring and some enameled examples.

The book is organized really well for quick reference and easy reading.  I think that is what I like most about it besides the wonderful photos.  One ring alone can account for 4-6 pages, so you can cover several ring and several pages within an afternoon of reading. This one's going into my bookshelf and I hope it will be in yours too! See below for an easy click away from owning your own copy!