20th Century Jewelry & The Icons of Style
Stefano Papi and Alexandra Rhodes
For many centuries the collecting of 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 which revelled in a new-rich social whirl. Eleven of these rich and glamorous women, who built up astonishing jewelry collections in the early and mid-20th century, are profiled in this book. 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. 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.