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"Well written narrative…. remarkably fresh … This admirable volume is excellent value with its impeccable text and
numerous illustrations."―Journal of the Royal Society of Arts
From the simple shell beads worn by Palaeolithic hunters to the splendor of Renaissance gold work and the sumptuousness
of Art Nouveau enamels, here is a fascinating and informative guide to the development of Western jewelry―concluding
with the radical and experimental developments in the last three decades. Offering a concise survey of the entire field,
this book analyzes jewelry's changing fashions, explores its social context, and examines how it has been worn by both
men and women. It shows how jewellers have responded to new sources of gems, whether emeralds from the New World or
diamonds from South Africa, and to the discovery of metals such as platinum and aluminum. Masterworks by unknown
craftsmen and pieces designed by individual artists as diverse as Holbein, Pugin and Calder are illustrated alongside
the glittering products of the major jewelry houses. 174 illustrations, 54 in color