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THE IMPOSSIBLE COLLECTION OF JEWELRY BOOK – With Baz Luhrmann’s much-anticipated The Great Gatsby, we can’t help but be fascinated by the sheer theatrically of it all. The costumes, the set designs and the jewelry. In fact, that’s all we can really think and talk about these days.

BY VIVIENNE BECKER

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Cuffs up to our elbows, piles of statement necklaces and the most elegant of headpieces that seem perfectly acceptable for every day wear.  So to feed our insatiable appetite for all things glittery, we’ve been thumbing through one of Assouline‘s newest release: The Impossible Collection of Jewelry. (Read also The Impossible Collection of Fashion)

See also: Book Review: Frida Kahlo Fashion As The Art Of Being

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In this magnificent collection of the most spectacular jewels of the twentieth century, fine jewelry historian Vivienne Becker selects the quintessential bijoux that represent the milestones of jewelry design of the last one hundred years. From Art Nouveau to the brink of the new millennium, Becker’s selections range from magnificent Cartier creations, such as the Maharajah of Patiala’s famous necklace, to lesser-known delights.

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Carefully curated, the 100 pieces featured stand out for their design, and the story behind them. A flip through the book’s pages reveals dripping diamond necklaces, brooches covered in precious stones, rings the size of rocks, ranging in hundreds of carats, and even a nearly 53-carat Bulgari sapphire and diamond pendant that belonged to Elizabeth Taylor.

David Behl, Photo Courtesy of Verdura the impossible collection of jewelry book THE IMPOSSIBLE COLLECTION OF JEWELRY BOOK David Behl Photo Courtesy of Verdura

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“I adore wearing gems, but not because they are mine. You can’t possess radiance, you can only admire it.” Elizabeth Taylor could have very well been speaking of Gatsby, although we suppose she had other gems on her mind.

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Bound in soft, grey fabric, the hefty tome – of which only 1,000 have been printed – slips into a case of orange silk and comes in its own canvas tote bag for ease of carrying. This beautiful volume is a must-have for fine jewelry collectors and lovers of precious objects. Sparkling with stunning photography, this hand-bound luxury edition features hand-tipped images and is presented in a linen clamshell case.

It’s definitely a must-have for any serious jewelry collector.

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About the Author

Vivienne Becker is an award-winning journalist, jewelry historian, and author of several books on the history of jewelry design. Based in London, she is a contributing editor to the Financial Times’s How To Spend It magazine and writes regularly for the Saturday Telegraph magazine and for newspapers and magazines around the world. She organized and wrote the catalog for the first major exhibition of the jewelry of René Lalique, and curated Jewels of Fantasy, a traveling exhibition of twentieth-century costume jewelry. She also lectures and broadcasts regularly on her subject.

See also: Book Review: La Collection Privée Christian Dior

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