Emerald: Twenty-one Centuries of Jewelled Opulence and Power
Joanna Hardy, Jonathan Self, Franca Sozzani, Hettie Judah
Edited by Robert Violette and produced by Violette Editions
Published by Thames and Hudson in
association with Violette Editions (November 2013)
Designed by Studio Frith
Map illustration by Nina Chakrabarti
Hardback, 328 pages
400 colour plates
34.5 x 24.5 cm (h x w, portrait)
ISBN 978-0-500517-20-8 (Thames and Hudson)
ISBN 978-1-900828-45-1 (Violette, hors commerces)
£75.00 Buy the book
Emerald is the most ambitious homage to this beautiful gemstone ever published, created by Violette Editions as the first in a series of books on rare gemstones and published by Thames and Hudson with the generous support of Gemfields PLC. Lavishly illustrated and large format, Emerald brings together a stunning collection of images and essays befitting a gemstone that is 20 times rarer than diamond.
Vogue Italia editor, Franca Sozzani, opens the book with a personal note on her relationship with jewellery and gemstones, which is then followed by Hettie Judah’s introduction to the complicated narratives behind some of the most iconic women, men, celebrities and royals to have worn famous emeralds, from Audrey Hepburn, Greta Garbo, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor to royals including Queen Elizabeth II and the Maharani Gayatri Devi.
Across more than 200 pages, the main part of this book, jewellery specialist Joanna Hardy selects and introduces some of the world’s most significant emerald artefacts and designs from around the world, including many previously unseen pieces from private, public and royal collections. Historic creations are represented alongside modern jewellery houses, including Cartier, Boucheron, Bulgari, Harry Winston, Shaun Leane, Leo De Vroomen, Grima and many more.
The final part of Emerald delves into the cultural history of the emerald trade from mine to market. Author Jonathan Self and photographer Errol Rainey have visited ancient sites, working mines and collectors and dealers across four continents. With a particular focus on Colombia, India, Zambia and Egypt, this section of the book gives context to the origins of our fascination with this opulent green gemstone.
Joanna Hardy is an independent gemmologist and jewellery specialist, formerly of Debeers, Philips and Sothebys. She lectures widely and writes for many international magazines and newspapers and features on the BBC Antiques Roadshow.
Jonathan Self has been passionate about emeralds and their enigma for more than 30 years. He has written for The Times, Country Life and Vanity Fair and is the author of over a dozen books.
Franca Sozzani is editor of Vogue Italia.
Hettie Judah is a writer, editor and curator based in London. She is a Contributing Editor to ArtReview, has written and edited numerous books on fashion, art and design and is a regular contributor to SHOWstudio. Her latest books as editor and contributor to titles created by Violette Editions include Interwoven: Kvadrat Textile and Design and Ten Years in the Bag: Selfridges 2003–2013.