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BY MANON KAVESKY
Title: Jewels and Jewelry: 500 Years of Western Jewelry from the World-Renowned Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum
Author: Clare Phillips
Type of Book: paperback
Average Price: $25.00
In Print: yes
Brief Description of Book: Really outstanding photography of a top of the line jewelry collection. This book is presented in three parts. Each topic is 2-3 pages long with amazing color photography, descriptive captions and very informative text. The first section describes materials used from precious metals to early plastics there are plentiful examples photographed from the collection. The second section, the meat and potatoes of this book, chronologically presents styles in jewelry from the Middle Ages to the contemporary. The third section is interesting with a short segments on early jewelry stores, jewelry boxes and hallmarking.
My favorite discovery in this book was the section on truly unusual moving jewels powered by electricity. These novelty pieces were first introduced in 1867 at the Paris Exhibition and seem to be one off or very limited production items. There is a photo of a stick pin a carved bone skull with diamond eyes that when connected to a small Voltaic battery the eyes roll and the jaw snaps! Can you believe it!
Quantity of Illustrations: loads every page has at least one photo and most have three or four items
Quality of visual material: high quality museum artifacts
B/w: some archival material
Color Photos: most items, very close a detailed
Quantity of Information: Very thorough, the author is a curator at the Victoria and Albert museum
Is the information thorough? Yes
Comments: I believe the virtue of owning this book is to help jewelry buyers and sellers recognize styles they may not be familiar with. For example there are real Medieval and Renaissance jewels and there is real Etruscan revival jewelry, and Art Nouveau, and Art Deco and Victorian Jewelry of all varieties: Vauxhall, Whitby Jet, Scottish Pebble, bugs, everything.
User Friendly: A wonderful text, not too scholarly but packed with history and interesting information
Is the book easy to read and follow? Yes
Table of contents? Yes
Average score: 9
Is this book a must have? The more I read the more I learn and the more I learn the more confident I become with buying, selling and collecting jewelry. Therefore, I think this book would be a good addition a to library.
"Thanks, Manon, for another great review! Mary in MO" --Mary in Missouri, 05/03/10
"Thanks Manon, the V&A has wonderful stuff but I didn't know they had produced this book. I'll definately be on the lookout for it." --Mary in England, 05/05/10
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