Lydia Courteille Extraordinary Jewellery of Imagination and Dreams

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Juliet Weir-de La Rochefoucauld

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ACC Art Books
Territory: USA & Canada
Size: 9.25 in x 10.5 in
Pages: 240
Illustrations: 360 color

RRP $75.00

  • A stunning monograph on Lydia Courteille, a French-born gemologist and antique-jewelry expert
  • Inspired by the past and the present, Lydia Courteille's jewelry pieces are the heirlooms of the future to be fought over by collectors for many generations to come

Parisian jeweler Lydia Courteille has been making a very special name for herself over the past thirty years; with her avant-garde and unusual jewelry designs, she has been keeping the Place Vendôme Jewelry Houses on their toes. She is always two to three steps ahead of the fashion world and her inventiveness and daring in the world of high jewelry is legendary.

Taking her inspiration from cultural landmarks in France and from numerous historical and literary sources including film, she has combined her love of unusual gemstones with color combinations that speak to the senses: her chlorophyll green in the Amazonia collection, the sunny bright vitamin C oranges of her Xochimilco collection and the azure blues in the Abysse collection all tease our imagination.

Famous for her memento mori and vanity rings, she combines symbols of faith with reminders of mortality to create a juxtaposition of meanings for the wearer to ponder upon. Never macabre and always witty, her edgy jewels recount the tales and the cultural differences from every part of the globe. She deliberately combines symbols to create a duality in her jewels, such as the sickle and hammer of the Soviet period with the ultra-femininity of eighteenth century jewelry design imposing contrast and debate in her Scarlet Empress collection.

To see, to touch and to wear Courteille's jewels is to travel to rarely visited spots in the world, from the sulfurous volcanic landscape of the Danakil desert to the remote tribes of the Omo Valley and the Bontoc people of the Philippines.

Her jewels have a presence, a femininity, designed by a woman, they demand respect; they are for strong, confident, women.

A Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem A), Juliet Weir-de La Rochefoucauld began her career at Sotheby's & Co., London. Based in France, she is also the author of Twenty-First Century Jewellery Designers: An Inspired Style ISBN 9781851497294 (Antique Collectors' Club, 2013). Juliet's great-grandfather, Thomas Weir, founded the jewelers Weir & Sons in Dublin in 1869, a company that is still run by members of the family.

What the press have said about this book...

“One of the most crucial aspects for a book of this genre is its photographs, which in this case happen to be just about as good as it gets. Readers can see for themselves why this jewelry is not for the faint of heart. Her thematically designed pieces are ablaze in color stones and finishes.”New York Journal of Books

"Her jewelry is art--it is colorful beyond all rainbows and in a league of its own." - Gem Gossip

“Covering her life story and 20 collections, the book is a comprehensive look at how Ms. Courteille became a jewelry designer… A fresh side to Ms. Courteille’s work is revealed.”The New York Times

“Written by jewelry expert Julia Weir de la Rochefoucauld, the book recounts Courteille’s childhood and the traits that eventually manifested themselves in her jewelry design: an extreme curiosity about the world’s diverse cultures (she corresponded with 18 pen pals worldwide), a love of narrative, and an eye for aesthetically interesting objects, such as the stones she saw at the mineralogical museum in Paris.”National Jeweler

“This volume brings the whimsical world of Parisian jeweler LYDIA COURTEILLE’S spectacular designs to your coffee table. Whether you offer this book for purchase or have it displayed for inspirational browsing, its colorful contents are sure to delight.”In Store Magazine

“A rockstar in the rarefied world of bespoke jewelry, Parisian jeweler Lydia Courteille has been making a name for herself over the past 30 years with her edgy and avant-garde designs. Using stunning photography, this monograph highlights her amazing handicraft, which takes inspiration from both cultural landmarks in France and numerous historical and literary sources. Juliet Weir-de La Rochefoucauld - Lydia Courteille: Extraordinary Jewellery of Imagination and Dreams - Hardcover, 240 pages, Antique Collectors Club Dist. (”Sophisticated Living