Twentieth-Century Jewelry

20th Century Jewelry & the Icons of Style

  1. Stefano Papi
  2. Alexandra Rhodes
  • ISBN 9780500519004
  • 30.00 x 22.40 cm
  • Quarter bound/PLC (no jacket)
  • 320pp
  • with 475 illustrations in colour and black and white
  • First published 2016

Surveys the dazzling jewelry collections of some of the 20th century’s most celebrated women, brilliantly evoking a lost world of high society – now available in a compact format and featuring two more icons of style

Twentieth-Century Jewelry and the Icons of Style

‘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
‘... a feast for the eyes and packed with fascinating insights’ – Vanity Fair
'From fashion icon Daisy Fellowes to the Duchess of Windsor … reveals the splendour of this decadent high society. The special edition book features incredible photography and never-before-seen images, bringing to life some of the most astonishing and coveted pieces of the decade'– Mayfair magazine

For many centuries collecting precious jewels was the preserve of kings and queens, emperors and maharajahs. But in the aftermath of the First World War, with the fall of several European monarchies, royal gems passed into the hands of a different kind of elite that included celebrities from the silver screen and a coterie who revelled in a social whirl of the newly rich.

This book profiles thirteen of these rich and glamorous women, all of whom built up astonishing jewelry collections in the early and mid-20th century.

The authors, both international jewelry experts, bring to life the worlds in which these women moved, as well as describing the gems in detail and providing a portrait of the work of the leading jewelers of the day. The book is illustrated with close-up shots 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 is the author of The Jewels of the Romanovs, also published by Thames & Hudson. Alexandra Rhodes was Senior Specialist for the international jewelry division of Sotheby’s in London.