EU shipping is temporarily suspended

Portrait Jewels

Opulence and Intimacy from the Medici to the Romanovs

Diana Scarisbrick

Out of stock


Features miniature portraits of famous personalities within jewelry design, from the Renaissance to the end of the Belle Epoque


From the Renaissance to the end of the Belle Epoque, miniature portraits of famous personalities – political, military, literary, artistic – and of private individuals inspired jewelers to design precious settings to enhance their beauty and emphasize their significance.

The jewels bring to life five centuries of extraordinary events and personalities, and illustrate a fascinating aspect of the history of jewelry.

The story begins in the sixteenth century with the Medici and other powerful dynasties, and ends just before the fall of the Romanovs. Rings, pendants, lockets, bracelets and objets de luxe set with cameos, intaglios, medals and miniatures: the desire for these jeweled portraits was international, ranging from Lisbon to Moscow, from Stockholm to Naples, from London to Paris to New York.

Diana Scarisbrick draws upon her knowledge of jewelry, painting, history and literature to set the portrait jewels in the context of people's lives, and shows how they were worn and what they meant to donors and recipients – tokens of allegiance to a ruler, of commitment between lovers, of affection within families.

Read More

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 22.4 x 21.6 cm

Extent: 352 pp

Illustrations: 356

Publication date: 9 May 2011

ISBN: 9780500515570

Contents List

Introduction • 1. Renaissance Europe, 1500–1625 • 2. The Baroque Interpretation, 1625–1715 • 3. Eighteenth-Century Absolutism, Elegance and Sentiment, 1715–1800 • 4. Dynastic Pride and Private Affection from Napoleon to World War I, 1800–1914 • 5. The Portrait Diamond • The Engraved Diamond Portrait

About the Author

Diana Scarisbrick is an art historian specializing in the history of engraved gems and jewellery.

Related Topics