20th Century Jewelry & the Icons of Style


Surveys the dazzling jewelry collections of some of the 20th century’s most celebrated women, brilliantly evoking a lost world of high society


ISBN: 9780500519004 Category:

Stefano Papi, Alexandra Rhodes


For many centuries collecting precious jewels was the preserve of kings and queens, emperors and maharajahs. But in the aftermath of the First World War, with the fall of several European monarchies, royal gems passed into the hands of a different kind of elite that included celebrities from the silver screen and a coterie who revelled in a social whirl of the newly rich.

This book profiles thirteen of these rich and glamorous women, all of whom built up astonishing jewelry collections in the early and mid-20th century.

The authors, both international jewelry experts, bring to life the worlds in which these women moved, as well as describing the gems in detail and providing a portrait of the work of the leading jewelers of the day. The book is illustrated with close-up shots of the jewels as well as wonderful drawings of the original designs, and includes portraits of the women by Beaton, Horst and other leading photographers of the time.

Additional information

Weight 2054 g
Dimensions 23.2 x 30.7 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 August 2016
Number of pages 320
Format Hardback
Dimensions 23.2 x 30.7 cm
Weight 2054 g


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Stefano Papi has worked as senior European specialist in the jewelry department of both Sotheby's and Christie's auction houses. His previous books include Famous Jewelry Collectors, Stage Jewels and Jewellery of the House of Savoy.

Alexandra Rhodes is Senior Specialist for the international jewelry division of Sotheby's in London.