|An extraordinary treasure trove of fabulous necklaces, bracelets, rings, brooches, and earrings owned by the rich and famous.
For many centuries the collecting of precious gems and the jewelry fashioned from them was the exclusive prerogative of kings and queens, emperors, popes, and maharajahs. But in the last hundred years movie goddesses, opera singers, industrialists, real-estate investors, and rock stars have joined those with the means to deck themselves in glittering bracelets, rings, necklaces, and earrings.
Most of what we know about the jewelry collections of recent times has been revealed though the auctions that have taken place after the collectors' deaths. The famous sale of 1987 uncovered the full extent of the dazzling pieces that belonged to the Duchess of Windsor. By the same token, as this book so handsomely shows, the collections of society women such as Barbara Hutton can now be appreciated and described in detail. Among the royals and aristocrats are Umberto II of Italy, HRH the Princess Royal (Princess Mary) of Great Britain, and the noble German family of Thurn and Taxis; from the world of film and entertainment come the collections of stars like Merle Oberon, Joan Crawford, and Ava Gardner.
The two authors, both international jewelry experts, reveal the stories behind the jewels and their collectors. This is a book to be cherished by everyone with an interest in society, collecting, and the very best of jewelry art. 290 illustrations, 126 in color.