Holiday Gift Guide 2023: The Best Jewelry Books

For jewelry and watch enthusiasts who love to read, why not gift a beautifully illustrated, well-written coffee table book? There is a wide variety of books from which to choose this holiday season. In addition to these books, please see here for an earlier round-up of books that would also make wonderful presents.

Cartier: The Impossible Collection (Assouline, October 2023)

Since the 19th Century, Cartier has been described as the preeminent jewelry of its time. Capturing each era’s cultural changes, the house developed a revolutionary style that continues to stand the test of time. By 1909, Cartier was the first international jeweler of its time, with boutiques in Paris, London and New York, and was an official supplier to many royal courts. This dazzling volume showcases Cartier’s neoclassical delicacy of the Garland style, the stylized geometrics of Art Deco, the iconic creations by legendary creative director Jeanne Toussaint and the evolutions of the Panther and Tutti Frutti motifs and reveals the stories behind the creation of 100 of Cartier’s most stunning and innovative objects and jewels. It’s a high-ticket gift but well worth it for all Cartier collectors and anyone interested in the house’s compelling history within the history of jewelry.

Cartier’s Emerald Panther Brooch, 1948. This is the first time the Cartier panther is fully depicted in a three-dimensional, naturalistic manner.

Patek Philippe: The Impossible Collection. 100 Legendary Masterpieces (Assouline, Nov. 2023)

This ultimate collection volume features original images of rare watches photographed exclusively courtesy of several notable private collectors. The sublime tome reveals how Patek Philippe occupied first place on the Olympus of classic Swiss fine watchmaking and was founded in Geneva in 1839 by two Polish refugees, Antoine Norbert de Patek and François Czapek, with the ambition to “create the most beautiful, the most precious and the most sophisticated watches in the world.” It also records how Patek Philippe is a master of grand complications. The brand is known for exemplary workmanship and its large number of patents, including the precision regulator (1881), perpetual calendar mechanism (1889), double chronograph (1902), first split seconds wristwatch (1923), the first wristwatch with perpetual calendar (1925), among many others. It is written by Fabienne Reybaud, an esteemed luxury editor and author of numerous jewelry books. Another high ticket book but one that is worth it for any watch enthusiast.

Patek Philippe Double-Crown Universal Time With Blue Enamel Dial, “Gobbi Milano,” “L’heure Bleue.” This double-crown World Time Ref. 2523 is one of just two with the blue enamel disk at the center, yet it is one of a kind, as the only one to bear the signature of Patek’s Milan retailer.

Adnorment and Splendour: Jewels of the Indian Courts (Thames & Hudson, Dec. 2023)

The catalog displays Indian jewelry and jeweled luxury objects made at the height of the Mughal Empire and Deccan sultanates in the 16th and 17th centuries. The collection, widely regarded as one of the finest in the world, was assembled by Sheikh Nasser and Sheikha Hussa al-Sabah for The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait. This opulent book includes the finest and most valuable pieces in the collection—some familiar to connoisseurs, others published in this volume for the first time—and many previously unknown pieces that expand our understanding of artistic output in the region. Vibrant photography of over 300 pieces was specially commissioned for the this historic awe-inspiring book for fans of jewelry of Indian and the Islamic world

© The al-Sabah Collection Finger Ring. India, Mughal dominions, probably first half of the 17th century. Fabricated from gold and set in Kundan technique with rubies, emeralds, chrysoberyl cat’s eyes, diamonds, and a sap/

Spirit of Chaumet (Thames & Hudson, Jan. 2024)

Authored by jewelry expert Gabrielle de Montmorin, this volume is organized thematically, exploring twelve (in homage to the house’s historic address: 12 Place Vendôme) core elements of Chaumet’s identity and creativity, from its Parisian roots to its cosmopolitan sources of inspiration and clientele. It offers a chance to discover the behind-the-scenes life of a high-jewelry Maison and to admire seldom seen, one-of-a-kind creations, its iconic tiaras, inventiveness, playful spirit, and nature-inspired designs with over 450 striking illustrations. It is one in a variety of Thames & Hudson’s books on the remarkable house, whose loyal clients have included Marie Antoinette and Empress Joséphine. In reading this book, one can dwell in the iconic history and enchantment of Chaumet

Replica of the ruby and diamond parure of Empress Marie-Louise, created by Nitot in 1811, Chaumet period, 1929 in gold, silver, white sapphires, zircons, and garnets.

Lydia Courtielle: A Jeweller’s Odyssey (ACC Artbooks, July 2023)

A revolutionary, the Parisian jeweler Lydia Courteille pioneered individualistic and avant-garde jewelry for over 40 years. In this new vividly illustrated biography, brilliant author Juliet Weir-de la Rochefoucauld shares the stunning locations and famous women from whom Courteille draws inspiration. Her work bravely went against the grain as she forged her own creative path, refusing to let her aesthetic be tempered by commercialization. Her jewels crystalize memories, honor the dead, make powerful social statements, poke fun at modern absurdities, and transport us to the other side of the planet. This is a book for students, emerging talents in the field and anyone passionate about jewelry and the backstory behind a legendary designer.

Yewn; Contemporary Jewels And The Silk Road (ACC Artbooks, Feb. 2023)

Jewelry historian Juliet Weir-de La Rochefoucauld captures the beauty and artistic direction of Dickson Yewn and references how Yewn focuses on traditional Chinese motifs but also understands the significance of different materials. This beauty of a book offers the reader a glimpse of the contemporary jewels by Dickson Yewn and how China’s works of art and its history have influenced his collection, always with his tendency to interpret pieces with a modern edge. This monograph of his work details Yewn’s inspiration from the Imperial court, exploring its influence on the art of jewelry, from silks, embroidery, painting, architecture and cloisonné enamel to courtesan culture. A book that delves into the designer and the culture is an educational read with riveting illustrations. This is a book the person you are gifting with go back to again and again.

A Cloisonné Flower bangle with pink, yellow and blue sapphires, tsavorite garnet, diamond, black rhodium-plated gold and yellow gold. The bangle is decorated with peach blossoms, chrysanthemums, lotus flowers and peonies.

Investing In Wristwatches: Patke Phillipe (ACC Artbooks, Sept. 2023)

The follow-up to Investing in Wristwatches: Rolex, this educational and superbly illustrated book, offers detailed insights into the world of authenticating and pricing high-value wristwatches for all collectors from amateur to connoisseur. It includes the vast majority of key Patek models, along with their relevant auction results. Legendary horological expert Osvaldo Patrizzi has carefully selected each timepiece. They have been chosen for technical excellence, auction records, design and anecdotal history. A description of each watch is accompanied by its picture, reference and sales values (rights included).This is a must have for those who want to learn more about timepieces as it also includes a comparative analysis of auction results, compiled through close collaboration with the Sotheby’s auction house snf shows the evolution of prices from the ’80s up to the present day.

A rare, limited-edition pink-gold automatic Patek Philippe annual calendar wristwatch commissioned to celebrate the Milan A.C. 100th Anniversary, Ref. 5035R-028, made c.1999..© Sotheby’s.

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