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7000 Years of Jewelry [Paperback]

Hugh Tait
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Paperback, Sept. 12 2008 --  
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Book Description

Sept. 12 2008

The most comprehensive and beautifully illustrated history of jewelry.

The previous edition of this exhaustive survey was published to critical acclaim by the British Museum Press. Since publication, the museum has expanded its collection, with major acquisitions of pieces from Europe and Asia. The new edition includes a complete revision of the section on Europe after 1700, plus revisions to the sections on Celtic Europe, Roman Britain, cameos and finger rings.

The book explores the varied styles, techniques and materials used to make jewelry in many civilizations throughout the world and across the millennia. Egyptian necklaces, Celtic torcs, South American gold masks, Renaissance pendants and Art Nouveau buckles are examples of the range of the masterpieces described and illustrated with 400 superb photographs.

7000 Years of Jewelry takes readers on an impressive tour that includes, among other times and places:

  • The Middle East: 5000-2000 BC
  • Egypt: 1500-900 BC
  • Phoenician, Greek, Etruscan and Persian Lands: 850-325 BC
  • China, Celtic Europe, Mexico and Peru: 600 BC-AD 600
  • The Mediterranean, India, Egypt, Roman Britain and Byzantium: 325 BC-AD 600
  • Europe, China, Korea and Japan: 300-1000
  • Mayan Central America: 600-1000
  • Central and South America: 500-1500
  • Europe, Islam, China, Korea and Java: 1000-1500
  • China, India, Tibet and Mongolia: 1500-1850
  • West Africa: 1500-1800
  • Europe: 1500-1950.

More comprehensive than before, this reference remains the finest and most beautifully illustrated history of jewelry ever published.

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[Review of previous edition:] A mind-boggling feat, this survey of 7000 years of glittering memorabilia of lost empires, royal egos, superstition and sentiment. (New York Times Book Review)

Historical, inspiring and beautiful, my copy is full of post-it notes and sketches tucked between the pages, taking up permanent residence on my nightstand. (Barb Switzer Simply Beads 2009-02-00)

This is an important book for all jewelers -- one that many would see as a concise history of the evolution of jewelry..... It is the successor to the original catalogue for the 1976 British Museum exhibition "Jewellery Through 7000 Years," which was primarily illustrated in black and white. In this revised version, the pieces have been superbly photographed and printed in color. (In fact, many illustrations look better than the actual objects despite the fact that the museum cases are well lit.) The book designers have created an attractive layout, and the figure captions are informative.... Some revisions have been made in this version to account for new research discoveries, and the section on Europe from 1700 to 1950 has been completely rewritten with new illustrations that include the museum's recent acquisitions.... The book weighs nearly three pounds (1.36 kg), which is substantial but still light enough to carry on a visit to the museum, and is an incredibly good value. Jewelers and gemologists will find it an interesting read and an attractive reference volume for their shelves. (Alan Jobbins, Caterham, United Kingdom Gems and Gemology 2009-03-00)

About the Author

Hugh Tait, deputy keeper at the British Museum and an internationally acknowledged expert on the European decorative arts, was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a former president of the Society of Jewellery Historians. The author of 5,000 Years of Glass and editor of The Art of the Jeweller, he died in 2005.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 7000 years of jewelry... Feb. 22 2012
Exactly what the title says it is all about history of human's self-adornment and jewelry throughout the globe, by regions (e.i. Middle East, Europe & Western Asia, etc.).

How it started, shells, bones, carvings, drilling, etc. First use of metals, it connects the techniques used from one part of the world to another. The use of ceramics beads and enamels to imitate expensive stone. Where stones would have been imported from, who could afford jewelry at those times, etc. The development of styles, the influences of metal working techniques and styles that travelled from one region to other parts of the world.

It mentions a 7,000 years old necklace that had obsidian in it which would have been very difficult to polish or drill with the available tools of that time.

It is very interesting reading.

Mireille Dalpé Prazeres
Earth, Stone and Wire, Ottawa, Canada
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  33 reviews
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource for jewelry history. Aug. 29 2008
By Karen Tweedie - Published on Amazon.com
This book presents a well-organized and well-illustrated history of thousands of years of jewelry. The textual information is packed full of interesting information and the photos have detailed captions that further enhances the amount of information presented here. As a jewelry designer, I find this to be a valuable addition to my library.
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Inspiration! Jan. 7 2009
By Laura Hastings-Brownstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Beautiful book, with tons of eye candy and great inspiration for jewelers. Very good explanations and background on the pieces.
One very interesting feature of this book is that there are several images of the portraits of the original owners wearing the jewelry pieces which reference current photographs of the actual piece as it is today.

Big book, with lots of beautiful pictures and interesting text. Good description of the materials used to create the jewelry.

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding! Oct. 13 2008
By Janice Sfreddo Duarte - Published on Amazon.com
The best rapport cost/benefice. High-quality images, concise text, thorough presentation of the main aspects of jewelry history throughout the world! I recommend it for all professionals in the field, and for the lovers of history.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Dec 27 2008
By Elizabeth Norris - Published on Amazon.com
If you were allowed to own only one book on the history of jewelry, this wouldn't be a bad option. Multiple high quality pictures on every page are accompanied by information about the pieces and how jewelry was made and used in the time and place. Pieces you may have seen before, but many that aren't in other books. More color pictures than black and white, and all are crisp and clear.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Photos and history May 17 2009
By Nana to bipolar kid - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A well presented history of jewelry and beautiful photos. Well worth every penny and then some if your are interested in history of jewelry making. Not a how too book.
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