by Vivienne Becker
Release Date: Sep 11, 2012
Source: layout sent by publisher
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Summary from assouline.com:
For the past five decades, gemologist Alexandre Reza has been one of Paris's—and indeed, the world's—most exclusive jewelers, a master artisan and exporter based in Place Vendôme, the heart of fashion and luxury.
To experience his ornaments is to discover history reborn: The diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and rubies of his collections have seen the most extravagant centuries and epochs, from French monarchies to Persian dynasties to the Italian Renaissance. And yet Reza's precious stones are never meant to be an antiquated homage to a prestigious past; a creator by instinct, Reza takes history as inspiration rather than for reproduction. His handcrafted pieces mix ages and eras to create something special—a "harmonization of contradictory forces," according to historian Arlette Seta.
This monumental edition, part of Assouline's Ultimate Collection, presents more than one hundred rare pieces of Reza's creations, and includes a history of the famed gem house in archival documents and vintage photography.
I reviewed a layout of this book, not the finished product, but it looks like the finished product is a work of art in itself. Hand-bound, in a suede clamshell case, I'm sure the finished book is exquisite. With a $1,000 price tag, this book could be displayed along with the jewels pictured on it's pages.
The book has so many vivid photos of various jewels from the Reza collection. The colors really jump off of the pages. The pieces are all shown in lush detail. The vast variety in styles is really surprising, there is something here for everyone.
There is a brief history of Alexandre Reza and his design house, but it wasn't really readable in the format that I received for review, however I trust that it was a basic history of the designer. The real bulk of the book is the detailed photos of the extravagant jewelry pieces.
Bottom Line: The photos of the jewelry are exquisite, and I'm sure the packaging is swoon-worthy. The price tag reflects the extravagance of both the book and the jewels on it's pages.
Here are a few more photos from the book, all from Assouline.com