Jewelry The Master Jewelers

ISBN 13: 9780500283868

The Master Jewelers

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9780500283868: The Master Jewelers

Towards the end of the 19th century, the master jewelers of the Western world began to shed the 18th-century anonymity under which such artist-craftsmen had generally worked. They emerged as individual voices, discarding the bland, predictable standards of the earlier era in jewelry design in favour of evocative new creations. The renowned designers whose work is featured in this book can be instantly identified by their particular interests and discoveries. Carl Faberge emphasized originality of design and the quality of craftsmanship, rather than the intrinsic value of the materials used. Castellani is known for his nostalgic glances back at Etruscan gold work; Rene Lalique was irresistibly fascinated by the strange forms he adapted from nature. The searching, critical eye of a Cartier or a Boucheron lent chic to their beloved abstract patterns. In fifteen chapters each written by leading experts in the field, the world of fine jewelry, encompassing its social, aesthetic and business aspects from around 1850 to the present day, springs to life. The magnificent illustrations display extraordinary confections of gold, silver and platinum, gems cut and polished in every conceivable fashion, and enamels, translucent, opaque or as clear as stained-glass windows - all designed and executed to enhance the allure of the people fortunate enough to wear them.

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About the Author:

A. Kenneth Snowman is Chairman of the London jewelers, Wartski. His many books include Eighteenth Century Gold Boxes of Paris and Carl Faberge, Goldsmith to the Imperial Court of Russia.

From Publishers Weekly:

Many of the stunning pieces pictured here would be more at home in a museum than adorning mere mortals. These are consummate creations of 19th- and 20th-century designers who chose gems and metals above oils and canvas as their raw materials. In 15 chapters written by as many connoisseurs and scholars, the book considers the history and productivity of various legendary jewelry firms (e.g., Cartier) and master craftsmen in the decorative and applied arts. Whether drawing their inspiration from ancient Rome, the Renaissance or Asia, these undisputed artists often fashioned the fabulous: bejeweled distaffs and diadems; translucent cloisonne enamels; glittering Faberge eggs; a flexible collar of sapphires and diamonds, courtesy of Tiffany workmen, that was 1800 hours in the making. Snowman, head of the London jewelry house Wartski, presents a serious, glitteringly detailed and seductive look at incredible artifacts.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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