Christie's The Jewellery Archives Revealed

Front cover image

Vincent Meylan

Buy now In stock

9781851498475
Hardcover
ACC Art Books
Territory: USA & Canada
Size: 9.75 in x 11.75 in
Pages: 360
Illustrations: 234 color, 76 b&w

RRP $95.00

  • Compiled with full access to Christie's famous archives
  • With never-before seen materials and photography
  • Reveals the romance, drama, intrigue - even danger - attached to some of the world's most storied jewels

For centuries, the stories of the world's great jewelry collections have lain hidden within the archives of Christie's, the celebrated auctioneers. From the tragic European queens, Mary, Queen of Scots and Marie Antoinette - both beheaded - to Hollywood royalty such as Elizabeth Taylor, the vaults sparkle with the most famous (and occasionally notorious) names of the last 250 years. Following on from the success of his books on Boucheron: The Secret Archives, Van Cleef & Arpels: Treasures and Legends and Mellerio: Jewellers to the Queens of Europe, author Vincent Meylan explores these remarkable jewelry archives, revealing the mysteries within for the first time.

Each sale had its intrigue, each its story to tell. The first auction of jewelry from the British royal family took place at Christie's in 1773, after the death of the Princess of Wales, mother of George III. As the archives reveal, in the subsequent centuries, Christie's has been party to the sale of jewelry by several further generations of British royals, from Lady Patricia Ramsay and the Countess of Southesk through to Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. And, in the wake of revolution and regicide further afield, the crown jewels of France, Russia, Bavaria, Serbia, Egypt, India and Spain were all sold at Christie's. Aside from Elizabeth Taylor, the legendary movie star collections of Merle Oberon and Gloria Swanson are also revealed here, as well as the most famous pearls and diamonds in the world; each explored within the context of their owners' remarkable lives.

Expertly curating the extensive archives, Vincent Meylan has drawn out the key details of each momentous sale. Original documents from the vaults are reproduced in the book, alongside hundreds of color illustrations of the jewels and their owners.

Contents: Introduction by François Curiel, Chairman of Christie's Asia-Pacific; 1. Guillotine Diamonds; 2. Murdered Queens; 3. Pomp and Circumstances; 4. Empresses in Exile; 5. The French Court; 6. From Christie's with Love; 7. Soft as a Pearl; 8. Bloody Revolutions; 9. Ladies of the Stage; 10. Gems from the East; 11. Diamonds are Christie's Best Friends; 12. Appendix: Prestigious Provenances.

Vincent Meylan is a specialist in precious stones and high jewelry, and the author of several biographies and works on the history of precious stones, including Queens' Jewels (Assouline, 2002), Boucheron: The Secret Archives ISBN 9781851496679 (ACC, 2011), and of Van Cleef & Arpels: Treasures and Legends ISBN 9781851497706 (ACC, 2014).

What the press have said about this book...

“Several of the most significant pieces in the most important jewelry sale at Christie’s, or anywhere for that matter, from Elizabeth Taylor are included in the publication.  And there is one mouth-watering image at the very end of the JAR jewels from the Ellen Barkin collection that frankly leaves you wanting much more from that sale—in my opinion the greatest exhibition of the designer anywhere.”The Adventurine

"Author Vincent Meylan delves into the stories behind both the gems and their owners—many of the creations within are from the collections of the rich, famous, and powerful: Marie Antoinette, Elizabeth Taylor, Queen Victoria's granddaughters. Here, discover a few of the most impressive jewels from the book." - Architectural Digest

“Get ready to pick your jaw up off the floor. The new book ‘Christie's: The Jewellery Archives Revealed’ (ACC Art Books, $95) explores the auction house's most exquisite jewels to be sold over the past 250 years. From Elizabeth Taylor's emerald and diamond Bulgari necklace to the tiara worn by Princess Margaret on her wedding day, there are certainly a number of breathtaking pieces…”Veranda

"The auction world is quite mysterious, legendary and totally unique. It is one of my favorite parts of my jewelry hobby. This book encompasses all this and more, and should you find yourself daydreaming of all the jaw-dropping jewels that once passed through Christie's auction house--you might want to buy yourself this book to know exactly how incredible they truly are!" - Gem Gossip