Revealed for the first time: the stories behind one of the most outstanding private collections of jewellery of the twentieth century
“This book…is a real eye-opener”—Belinda Morris, The Jeweller
With contributions by Martin D. Fuller, Michael Hall, Jennifer Levy, Jeffrey E. Post and Wilfried Zeisler
Spectacular immerses the reader in one of the most remarkable collections of gems and jewellery ever assembled. The Merriweather Post Collection features exquisite jewellery from the early twentieth century to the late 1960s from world-renowned firms such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Harry Winston as well as chic jewels from boutique firms like George Headley, David Webb, and Fulco di Verdura. It is also notable for its historic pieces, among them the Marie Louise diadem and the earrings reputedly worn by Marie Antoinette on the eve of the French Revolution.
Illustrated with over 160 colour images, including stunning photography, design drawings, newspaper and magazine articles, and advertisements, this wonderful new book offers an enthralling glimpse into a collection full of outstanding gems, dazzling twentieth-century jewellery, and legendary historic jewels. Each chapter includes short essays contributed by experts in the field on a variety of historical, socio-cultural, and gemological subjects. This lavish volume thus provides insight into the development of jewellery styles in the United States and Europe through one woman’s unique collection and paints a vivid picture of one of the most passionate and confident jewellery collectors of the twentieth century.
The late Liana Paredes was director of Collections & chief curator at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens. In 2016 Ms. Paredes taught a course on 20th century Jewelry to students of decorative arts and design in the Smithsonian/George Mason university graduate program. She is the author of Sèvres Then and Now: Tradition and Innovation in Porcelain, 1750-2000, (2009).
Martin D. Fuller is the founder and president of Martin Fuller Appraisals, LLC.
Michael Hall is the curator of ceramics of the Capelain Collection in Jersey, Channel Islands.
Jennifer Levy is a curatorial assistant at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens.
Jeffrey Post is the curator of the U.S. National Gem and Mineral Collection, and chairman of the Department of Mineral Sciences, Smithsonian Institution.
Wilfried Zeisler is Hillwood’s chief curator.
Table of Contents
- Foreword – Kate Markert, Executive Director
- The Blue Heart Diamond by Jeffrey E. Post
- A Dazzling Collection of Twentieth-Century Jewelry
- Emeralds — Four Centuries of Global Trade by Michael Hall
- Burma — The Land of the Midnight Blue by Martin D. Fuller
- Historic Jewelry
- The Yusupov Diamond Earrings by Wilfried Zeisler
- The Curious Case of the Napoleon Necklace by Jennifer Levy
- Select Bibliography
- Photographic Credits