The holiday season is upon us, and with that comes the exciting yet daunting task of purchasing a gift that your loved ones will enjoy for many years to come. A piece of jewellery or a beautiful watch is always a great choice. However, the luxury connoisseurs in your life may also enjoy learning more about their passion this winter. Take a look at the six Assouline and Rizzoli books below, which cover a wide selection of the jewellery and watch luxury market. To give the gift of knowledge with some added sparkle, let’s turn the pages of these marvellous manuscripts.
Bulgari: Beyond Time
For the jewellery watch lovers out there, Bulgari’s Beyond Time coffee table book is the perfect gift. Composed of eight chapters detailing the greatest Bulgari horological feats from the 1920s to the present, this is the only official publication that the brand has been involved in that retraces its entire horological history. Brand ambassadors, friends and other great Bulgari names gather together to explain their role in the brand’s development, what they love most about Bulgari watches and how the Italian luxury brand looks to the future to develop its horological sciences. Famous watches mentioned include the recent Giardino dell' Eden Tourbillon, This Divas' Dream from 2013 and the famous Serpenti Tubogas.
Cartier, the Impossible Collection
One of the world’s first internationally renowned luxury brands, Cartier has been famous for creating one-of-a-kind pieces for royalty and the elite since it was established in 1847. In The Impossible volume, Cartier lets us peek behind the curtain at some of its most incredible creative feats, from the historic Cartier Panthère emblem to the iconic Tutti Frutti sapphire, emerald and ruby motif. This is the dream gift for the jewellery lover in your life who is looking to learn more about the creative history of the Cartier brand, and its jewellery highlights through engaging texts and beautiful drawings.
The Spirit of Chaumet
The Spirit of Chaumet by jewellery historian and journalist Gabrielle de Montmorin is a guidebook to the core design values, motifs and techniques of the House of Chaumet. Using 450 illustrations and stories, the book takes you on a tour of the Maison’s stylistic principles and multifaceted history, dating to 1780. As you peruse the book, you will discover one-of-a-kind high jewellery creations, iconic tiaras, the historic clientele of the Chaumet brand, and the importance of nature in Chaumet creations. In fact, this is a theme Montmorin has previously written about for the Maison during its Végétal exhibit in Paris, for which she was a key contributor. Organised into 12 chapters in honour of Chaumet’s famous Place Vendôme address, this book is for the lover of all things flora, fauna and fabulous.
David Webb: Jewelry and Culture
Jewellery designer David Webb arrived in the big city of Manhattan at the ripe old age of seventeen. With a big dream and a lot of talent, he opened his New York City store in 1948, inspired and determined to create jewels that represented the beautiful architecture and culture that surrounded him. The Art of David Webb: Jewelry and Culture by Ruth Peltason is a collection of Webb’s pieces set against the painters, sculptors, photographers and architects that inspired his work. Full of captivating imagery and stimulating dialogue, the reader delves into the depths of his inspiration, experiencing his works through the cultural references of the time. If you love jewellery and art through all mediums, look no further than this beautiful literary creation.
Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Gioielleria: Masterpieces of High Jewellery
Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Gioielleria is a tell-all that explains in detail the creation of the high jewellery facet of the Italian brand. From setting up gem labs to honing an in-house style that Carol Walton dubs “a new storied style of jewellery”, this book puts the reader inside the minds of Domenico Dolce and Stephano Gabbana. Each chapter dissects the duo’s love for Italian artistry and culture, educating us on ancient forms of Sicilian lacework, Roman myths and legends, as well as the flora and natural landscape of the country, from the warm colours of Tuscan villas to deep blue hues of the Ionian Sea. Engaging and beautifully illustrated, this is the perfect gift for those looking to gaze at magnificent jewels whilst also learning more about different forms of Italian artisanal work.
Francesca Amfitheatrof: Fantastical Jewels
Fantastic Jewels by Louis Vuitton takes the form of a scrapbook written by none other than its powerhouse creative director, Francesca Amfitheatrof. Driven by her love of travel and passion for rare gems, Amfitheatrof takes the reader on a tour of each of her high jewellery collections for the Maison, including the entire journey of a Louis Vuitton high jewellery piece, from pitching her theme to the global team to the ‘why’ behind her settings for larger stones. With a forward written by one of Amfitheatrof’s greatest sources of inspiration, Cate Blanchett, Fantastical Jewels celebrates the power of the female creative mind and the history of this great brand. Buy this book for the travel-obsessed jewellery lover in your life!
Lydia Courteille - A Jeweller’s Odyssey
Juliet Weir-de La Rochefoucauld’s A Jeweller’s Odyssey deep dives into the lives of one of the great French jewellers of our time – Lydia Courteille. With her Cabinet of Curiosities shop a short walk away from the famous Place Vendôme, Courteille is famous for her unique aesthetic that combines a vintage and antique aesthetic with bold gems and artefacts found during her global adventures. This beautiful pink coffee table book takes us through each of the designer’s collections, inspired by important women of history as well as her celebrity A-List clients, the likes of Nicole Kidman. If you are looking for a great jeweller’s biography full of vivid colours and interesting stories, this is the book for you.
Pharrell: Carbon, Pressure & Time: A Book of Jewels
Last but not least, musician and fashion icon Pharrell Williams has released a book about his relationship with jewellery. Carbon, Pressure & Time: A Book of Jewels reveals conversations between the artist and other jewellery designers, such as Jacob & Co. and Lorraine Schwartz, alongside other artists who have also started to create their pieces of high jewellery, such as Tyler, The Creator. Each of Pharrell’s pieces marks an important achievement in his life, such as deeply personal music albums, his family and his closest friends. High jewellery is the canvas he uses to capture his life’s story, often through extremely rare gemstones, including coloured diamonds. If you are a fan of hip-hop culture and want to learn more about the larger-than-life jewellery pieces rappers wear, this will explain it all.
This year has no shortage of jewellery-centric publications, and all of them include beautiful bindings, ornate drawings and interesting stories. Let us know which ones make your Christmas list!