Whether you're aesthetic with pearls fall into the something old, new or borrowed camp, or the safe for work attire or the the quintessential 'Lady who lunches' tribe- pearls are the fail-safe ladylike adornment for legions of woman (and men) the world over. But they’re allure and beauty are no longer just for traditionalists. In PEARLS (Skira) one will be engulfed with one of the most rarest and mysterious gems.
Triptych by Utagawa Kunisada (1786–1865): the elegant prince Genji watches women diving for abalone from his boat. Print, 1858. Private collection.
The captivating, beautiful and spellbinding tome is an extension of the ecological wonder that has been a prized treasure since ancient times for it's luster and purity. The true fascination of this book - is the way it effortlessly combines scientific, historical, cultural, and haute pearl couture information that's truly a page turner.
A giant clam with its thick mantle of a bright hue.
Along with the absolutely exquisite works featuring some of the world's most beautiful pearls, the authors explain both "perliculture" and the harvesting of naturally occurring specimens, the biology of the mollusks that produce them and the history of pearls in human society. Gem aficionados will be taken with the book's range of size, shape and color of these ever-popular jewels - we here at LPB was awestruck!
These necklaces belonging to Hussain Alfardan are the very essence of the beauty of the natural pearl. Perfectly spherical and with a superb orient, this quality of pearl catches the light and interacts with light into very subtle pastel tints. Hussain Alfardan Collection, Qatar.
What I fould to be extremely interesting about the book is yes the various tiaras, necklaces and works of art featured but what truly drew me to this page turner was contrary to a generally held view that pearls are found by chance in oysters, almost all are now produced from farms.
The penguin or black-winged oyster (Pteria penguin) is a magnificent animal with an extension of the nacreous part on the side of the hinge. When the valves are open, it forms a sort of heart. The species is characterised by a very extensive formation of black organic matter, or conchiolin. Unfortunately, this substance dehydrates and the shell of the oyster does not keep well. It produces magnificent but rare green pearls. Palawan Island, Philippines. Collection of the Qatar Museums Authority.
Belle Époque tiara (around 1900). Between two undulating bandeaux, a garland of stylised myrtle leaves bears seven pearls. The setting is in diamonds on platinum. Thomas Faerber Collection, Geneva.
This lavishly illustrated book includes History and Lore, Natural Pearls, Cultured Saltwater Pearls, Cultured Freshwater Pearls, Mother-of-Pearl and pearls featured in art, haute couture and more. This book provides the ideal introduction to one of the world's oldest and most famous gems. A book every jewel enthusiast should own.
Available at Rizzoli New York