Court and Craft
A Masterpiece from Northern Iraq
The Courtauld’s collection of Islamic metalworks includes an early 14th-century inlaid brass vessel shaped like a leather bag or wallet and decorated with a court scene, horsemen, musicians and revellers. No other metal vessel of this kind survives and its function has remained a mystery. This volume accompanied an exhibition that explored the ‘Courtauld bag’ in detail, along with over 30 objects whose study illuminates the life and art of the medieval Mongol Empire.
English Silver before the Civil War
The David Little Collection
A small, yet exceptional collection of Tudor and Stuart silver, that includes an early apostle spoon, a tankard engraved with arms of Archbishop Frewin and two of the so-called ‘Armada’ dishes, forms the focus of this richly illustrated introduction to English silver of the period. Chapters on banqueting plate, the place of silver in aristocratic households, church plate and the silver trade are followed by a detailed catalogue of the 25 pieces in the David Little collection.
From the World's Leading Designers
This well-illustrated study explores the ways in which the essence of a flower can be translated into jewellery, and how jewellers have approached that challenge since the late 19th century. Carol Woolton highlights the skills of observation and craftsmanship required to interpret floral beauty through the media of metal and precious stone, and provides examples of notable pieces by designers including Lalique, Fabergé and Joel Arthur Rosenthal.
Designer British Silver
From Studios Established 1930–1985
Following George V’s request for modern Ascot trophies, the government began encouraging British design in the 1930s, their plans coming to fruition post-war. This compendium features photographic samples from and biographies of the 50 most influential modern British designer silversmiths, based on one-to-one interviews and family records. Shorter entries are included for a further 170 designer silversmiths, enamellers and engravers, providing a unique, comprehensive record of their craft through to the present day. Slipcased.
The Immortal Stone
Chinese Jades from the Neolithic Period to the Twentieth Century
Drawing on the magnificent collection of over 200 Chinese jades and other hardstones in The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, this volume traces the history of jade carving in China and discusses topics such as geological sources and the social significance of jade. Lin provides photographs and detailed commentaries for 105 objects ranging from humanoid figures dated c.3500–2500 BCE to 18th-century carved vessels and sculptures. The remainder of the museum’s collection is illustrated and briefly described in an appendix.
Requiring shallow, warm, clean waters to thrive, a coral is a colony of tiny sac-like polyps that over time produces calcified stony reefs of fabulous colour and complexity. This exhibition catalogue, inspired by the collection at the Manchester Museum, presents a series of essays examining various aspects of coral, including its use in jewellery and ornament; its symbolic importance throughout history; its unusual natural history; and the sensitivity of coral reefs to climate change and pollution.
Treasures of the Habsburgs
The Kunstkammer at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
The House of Habsburg was one of the wealthiest and most powerful dynasties in Europe, and many of its members were great patrons and collectors of art. Illustrated with more than 300 colour photographs, this book presents about 150 examples of the Kunstkammer – or cabinet of curiosities – where wonders of art, science and nature were brought together, ranging from pieces of sculpture and metalwork to exotic objects fashioned from ostrich eggs, nautilus shells, rhinoceros horns and sharks' teeth.
Greek Gems and Finger Rings
Early Bronze Age to Late Classical
The miniaturist art of gem engraving is the least familiar of the major arts of ancient Greece, yet we know it to have been practised by the greatest artists, and its masterpieces can challenge many better-known works of sculpture and painting. John Boardman presents a comprehensive, well-illustrated account of gem engraving in the Greek lands, examining the gems’ subject matter and iconography, the materials and technology used in creating them, and their relation to contemporary artistic works in other media. Slightly off-mint.