Thursday, October 14, 2010

Judith Miller's 101st Book: Costume Jewelry

Judith Miller's delicious and newest book, Costume Jewelry, is actually her 101st book, I think. She's the co-founder of The Antiques Price Guide and Miller's Collectible Price Guide, she's a specialist on the BBC's The Antiques Roadshow and a visit to her website is like dropping in at your dear friend's houses to have a cup of tea and show the little trinkets you just happened to find at a tag sale. 

Costume Jewelry is segmented by Major Designers (Chanel, yes), Classic Designers (Givenchy, LaCroix, Lagerfeld, Lanvin, YSL ... ), Future Designers (Erickson Beamon and the photos made my toes wiggle with pleasure), a list of dealers (websites too, marks, glossary ... the works). Logical and precise, it's how you can swoop into the perfect piece at a lawn sale, at one of those musty antique shows or even into your own jewelry chest. 

There's code - a letter grade - to indicate a price range. Voila ... how to troll eBay (careful, really really careful: that is an amazing place when you absolutely can trust the seller).

1924 and Coco Chanel showed simple faux earrings: one black pearl and one white. Simple, chic and that was The Moment. 

In this case the dictionary needs a quick update ...

costume jewelrynounjewelry made with inexpensive materials or imitation gems.

The Pearl by Guy de Maupassant is online here ... the great ending: 
    "Oh, my poor Mathilde! But mine was imitation. It was worth at the very most five hundred francs! . .  

Judith Miller's Costume Jewelry is at Amazon.

1 comment:

  1. I have this book and love it. Its such a great reference for costume jewelry which I have an affinity for. There of course some pieces in there that I'd love to have in my collection.


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