As the holiday season draws near, what can one get for their jewelry-obsessed family member, spouse, friend, acquaintance, whomever as a thoughtful gift? Beth Bernstein from Forbes has compiled a short, but effective list of books that are sure to scratch that particular niche itch for any giftee. This isn't your run-of-the-mill jewelry literature either, as each story describes the long history and artistic merit of each featured brand.
The Cartiers: The Untold Story of the Family Behind the Jewelry Empire is an example as author Francesca Cartier Brickell recounts not only the history of the world-renown luxury brand Cartier but her own personal tales. When Brickell's grandfather Jean-Jacques Cartier sent her into the cellar for a bottle of celebratory champagne during his 90th birthday, she found a treasure trove of history. In a trunk, she discovered hundreds of letters from noteworthy clientele throughout the history of Cartier's long life, including Coco Chanel, the Duchess of Windsor, Grace Kelly, Queen Elizabeth, King Edward II, Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia, and Elizabeth Taylor.
Another sought-after tome is Adorning Fashion by Deanna Farneti Cera, who delves deep into the topic of costume jewelry, and what it has become today. She writes of the designers during the past four hundred years, giving an overview of the artistic development of these affordable pieces. The book journeys through France in the 1700s as well as Victorian England. Designers included notable artists like Salvador Dali to well-known fashion and luxury houses like Chanel, Verdura, Paco Rabanne, Yves St. Laurent, Christian Dior and Balenciaga.
Clare Phillips' Jewels & Jewelry offers a more in-depth historical look at the world of jewelry. The timeline ranges from the middle ages to modern-day, with an descriptive analysis of each time period. The author's previous works for the Victoria & Albert Museum publications include Jewelry: From Antiquity to the Present and contributions to Art Nouveau 1890-1914, Silver, International Arts and Crafts, The Cult of Beauty, Alexander McQueen. This book has been reprinted several times and continues to be a fresh look at the evolution of personal adornment.