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Famous Jewelry Collectors Paperback – November 1, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Eighteen magnificent jewelry collections are shown here in clear, vibrant photos of the actual pieces, along with photos of their owners wearing them. The collectors were some of the most glamorous of the 20th century: actresses, an opera singer, royalty, aristocrats, and society women. The fascinating lives of these women are intertwined with accounts of how each acquired her jewelry, when and where she was seen wearing the jewels, and, most interesting of all, the various metamorphoses of many of the pieces of jewelry. Originals and resettings are depicted, as seemingly "old-fashioned" bracelets, brooches, necklaces, rings, and earrings were redesigned to ensure that their owners would remain in the height of fashion. The authors, both directors at Sotheby's, provide the sort of information appearing in auction catalogs that few readers probably have the chance to see. This beautifully produced, very readable book is highly recommended for public and academic library decorative art collections.
-Therese Duzinkiewicz Baker, Western Kentucky Univ. Libs., Bowling Green
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Eighteen magnificent jewelry collections are shown here in clear, vibrant photos of the actual pieces...beautifully produced, very readable. -- Library Journal
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; Reprint edition (November 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500285128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500285121
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,057,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
An entertaining book with memorable personalities and their world famous baubles. The section on socialities and the nobility is fun to read; especially countess Mona von Bismarck. The incredible story of Poor Little Rich Girl, Barbara Hutton and socialite Daisy Fellowes (she must have been an incredible woman, reading her self-improvement on her nose!). Some of the gems are world famous, like the bejewelled menagerie of the Duchess of Windsor, her cats, her flamingo, her tiger lorgnette etc. All in all, a fun book to read, but not only for lovers of jewellery, but also for people who are interested in royalty, fashion and high society. In short, a nice coffeetable book!
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Format: Hardcover
This is a well written book with wonderful photography. The selection of jewellery owners for each of the categories specified was thoughtful with some less well know, but nevertheless interesting collectors, included. The only shortfall was the absence of collectors from the Orient and the East - this would have been unique and given the book an extra star.
The book is a good complement to John Traina's hard to get "Extraordinary Jewels".
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By Shannon Deason on November 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book, the images are crisp and the text is fascinating. The people in this book live for their jewels and many of them, particularly the Duchess of Windsor, had impeccable taste. Some of the pieces are just stunning, and the background on the collectors is most interesting. I highly recommend this book to anyone with any interest in beautiful jewelry.
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Format: Paperback
Some people are simply famous for their jewels. In modern times the mind that most readily springs to mind is probably the Duchess of Windsor, Wallace Simpson. However, she wasn't alone in her passion for jewels. This book covers the collections of the following people, divided into sections on screen actresses, aristocracy and society:

Merle Oberon
Mary Pickford
Paulette Goddard
Ava Gardner
Joan Crawford
Renata Tebaldi
Cornelia, Countess of Craven
Gladys, Duchess of Marbourough
King Umberto II of Italy
The Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood
The Princess von Thurn und Taxis
The Duchess of Windsor
Countess Mona Bismark
Lydia, Lady Deterding
Daisy Fellowes
Ganna Walska
Barbara Hutton
Helena Rubinstein

Much of the information in this book has been gleaned from old auction catalogues when the collections were broken up after their owner's death. This has been backed up with picture research where possible. While in their own lifetimes these people's collections were legendary, with possibly the exception of the Duchess of Windsor it has obviously been a difficult job to try and reconstruct the collections after they have been dispersed.

Each person gets 2-6 pages each depending on what can be found about their collection. For lovers of bling this book might be an eyeopener of what money CAN buy. However, having said that it is also slightly disappointing because you get the feeling you are only scraping the surface of these collections and it's a great pity that they were never properly photographed and recorded before they were broken up.
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Format: Paperback
...for everybody who loves great jewellery.

The books provides both, interesting information about jewellery and gorgeous pictures. It shows the treasure chests of collectors from the aristocracy, society as well as from stars of the stage (both movie and opera). Although I'm particularly interested in noble jewels, it's the mix of collections in this book I really appreciate.

It's always a pleasure to read and look. My book hasn't found yet the way to the bookshelf - it's still right to my hand on the table...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this in one sitting at a friend's house and had to have it. The biographical information is fascinating and as a gemological fanatic it was wonderful. Very interesting and enjoyable reading !
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By A Customer on September 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is wonderfull, the jewelry is wonderfull. It renews my faith that at one time people with money DID have some taste. This book is well worth the money spent.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very beautiful book. The text is very descriptive and the photography is phenominal. I am a collector of high-end costume jewelry and reading this book makes me wish I had the pieces shown in the book. The book is very fascinating and I would certainly recommend it for purchase. It would make a very nice gift for a jewelry collector. The quality of the book is excellent and the shipping was extremely fast.
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