written by Jack Ogden
Intelligent Layman Publishing | ISBN 9780947798352
Hardback – 264 pages
Member’s price: $108.00
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Jewellery, in all its beauty, intricacy and craftsmanship, forms a unique window on our past. This book presents five thousand years of jewellery from treasured personal possessions to symbols of imperial power. The author, Dr Jack Ogden, is a world authority on the historical development of jewellery and currently the Chief Executive of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain. This book reflects his holistic approach to jewellery studies, blending together art, history and craft. It explains how forms developed, how expanding trade introduced increasing varieties of gems and how technological advances influenced design. The story of jewellery is interwoven with the author's insights into its historical and social context. Guided by the author, "Jewellery" journeys from the earliest Stone Age beads and pendants through the spectacular goldwork of the great ancient civilisations, and looks at the treasures of Ur, Troy and Egypt, the growing sophistication of Greek and Etruscan jewellery, and then the boldness of Roman forms. From there, the book travels across the courts of Medieval Europe, through the splendour of early Islamic goldwork and follows Marco Polo along the Silk Road to the diamond mines of India. The Medieval period blossomed into the Renaissance, dominated by such craftsmen as Cellini and the intrepid navigators who opened up the sea routes to the riches of the East and the long-established civilisations of the Americas. The industrial and social revolutions of the eighteenth century introduced the techniques of mass production that then defined much of the jewellery of the nineteenth century Victorian era - a uniformity counterbalanced by the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movements. By the time the nineteenth century drew to a close diamonds from the abundant South African deposits had become the king of gems and Cartier and other great firms had begum to work with platinum. The book closes with a brief look at modern jewellery, with its new ideas and new materials.