20th Century Jewelry and the Icons of Style

20th Century Jewelry & The Icons of Style

  1. Stefano Papi
  2. Alexandra Rhodes
  • ISBN 9780500516874
  • 32.00 x 24.00 cm
  • Hardback
  • 272pp
  • With 398 illustrations in colour and black and white
  • First published 2013

Eleven rich and glamorous women who built up astonishing jewelry collections in the early and mid-20th century, are profiled in this superb book

‘The combination of images of beautiful/stylish women of a bygone, glamorous era and sumptuous, close-up shots of the most gorgeous, covetable jewelry, makes for a heady mix’ – The Jeweller

20th Century Jewelry and the Icons of Style

For centuries the collecting of precious jewels was the preserve of kings and queens, emperors and maharajas. But in the aftermath of the First World War, royal gems passed into the hands of a different kind of elite that included celebrities from the silver screen and a coterie which revelled in a new-rich social whirl. Changes in fashion and the rise of Art Deco style led them to reset pieces or commission exquisite contemporary designs.

The collectors range from the legendary Marjorie Merriweather Post and her niece, the Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton, to the Duchess of Windsor, the Maharani of Baroda and the great diva Maria Callas, as well as less well-known but fascinating figures such as the mysterious and beautiful Nina Dyer.

    Marjorie Merriweather Post
    Lydia, Lady Deterding
    The Duchess of Windsor
    Daisy Fellowes
    Countess Mona Bismarck
    Barbara Hutton
    Merle Oberon
    The Maharani Sita Devi of Baroda
    Maria Callas
    HH The Begum Aga Khan III
    Nina Dyer

The authors, both international jewelry experts, reveal the stories behind the jewels and their collectors. Not only do they bring to life the worlds in which these women moved, but they also describe the gems in detail and provide a portrait of the work of the leading jewelers of the day, such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Harry Winston.

The book is illustrated with close-up photography of the jewels as well as wonderful drawings of the original designs, and includes portraits of the women by Beaton, Horst and other leading photographers of the time.

Stefano Papi has worked as Senior European Specialist in the jewelry departments of both Sotheby’s and Christie’s. He has written several books, including Stage Jewels and The Jewels of the Romanovs, and is co-author with Alexandra Rhodes of Famous Jewelry Collectors.
Alexandra Rhodes is a Senior Director of Sotheby’s and a Senior International Specialist of the jewelry department, based in London.

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