The Must-Have Antique Jewelry Book Is Back In Print

I have good news for all of you Georgian jewelry enthusiasts and I know that there are many of you—just from the large group I have come to meet on Instagram. Georgian Jewellery by Ginny Redington Dawes and Olivia Collings has been reprinted as is due out in September of 2018. That’s right, you don’t have to scour Amazon for book sellers whose prices start at a startling $500 and go up into the thousands, if you didn’t get your copies before the book went out of print.

The bible of Georgian jewelry and the only book published solely on the topic will be available for $85 from the original publishers ACC Artbooks (who I am personally indebted to for publishing my 2015 book, If These Jewels Could Talk).

When I emailed James Smith, who spearheads the UK publishing house, I wrote I was extremely excited about the reprint and that it is my favorite jewelry book of all time. I then realized I sounded like a kid in a candy shop explaining my love for Charleston Chews. He shot me an email back asking, “don’t you have two of the originals printed in 2007 and one printed in 2010?”

Pages from Georgian Jewellery are featured throughout this article

” Yes, true,” I wrote, “But won’t this new edition uncover information that wasn’t in the first two runs and new photos as well?”  He left that to my imagination or to wait for the review copy to arrive and went on to say, “It’s Jade Jagger’s favorite book too.”

In fact, she is quoted in the new edition as saying, ““I’ve got so many great inspirations from Georgian Jewellery, and it really comes out in my work.”

But let’s get down to it.  Co-author Ginny Redington Dawes (who I recently saw at the New York Antique Jewelry and Watch Show (and who I have I interviewed for an upcoming article) and Olivia Collings penned a book that offers a lively and colorful account of the 18th century jewelry that spanned 114 years from 1714-1830.  For the many of you who are fans of this time period, information on all of the styles of the day were not readily available in a comprehensive format until Georgian Jewellery first came out.  Ginny and Olivia have divided the book into six chapters: Dawn, Day, Night, Love, Death and Eternity. Topics covered but are not limited to Berlin iron, cut steel, foil backed settings, harlequin jewels, Portuguese and Spanish jewelry of the period, the language of flowers and giardinetti jewelry, French amatory jewels, miniatures and lover’s eye jewelry and memento mori pieces.  They offer the information up in a conversational tone that reveals their expertise but never gets bogged down with academic phrasing or approaches to the topic. Instead we get a strong dose of education, blended with gossip, fashion insights, and advice on how to build a collection, and spot on information on identifying the real thing from the reproductions that continue to flood the market.

The 192 page book is packed with 295 Illustrations and the photos by Tom Dawes are spectacular. (I want to own every piece in the book.)  The cartoons and character sketches add a light touch.

Ginny has penned two other jewelry books on Victorian Jewelry (another must-have in your book collection) and Bakelite. She is a lifelong antique jewelry collector. She is also a successful composer who, along with her husband Tom, wrote the book, lyrics and music for the Off-Broadway show, The Talk of The Town.

Olivia Collings is a renowned jewelry dealer and consultant in London and New York. She was a costume designer for the theater and her passion for collection antique jewelry led her to train in an exclusive Bond Street shop before breaking out on her own in 1975. Some of you New Yorkers might remember her name from the antique jewelry display cases in Barney’s which she filled with her expertly curated collection for years.

Another fun tidbit about this book is that many of the trusted dealers who Georgian jewelry collectors know and buy from have pieces featured in this book and are listed in the credits. These include Pat Novissimo of Lowther Antiques, Jackie Smelkinson and Marcia Moylan of The Spare Room Antiques, Michele Rowan of Rowan & Rowan, Melody Rodgers of Melody Rodgers, Gray Boone, formerly of Gray and Davis Ltd, Leah Gordon of Leah Gordon Antiques and Emily Satloff of Larkspur and Hawk (who was a dealer before she became a designer) and has a serious personsl Georgian jewelry collection. Also credited are Kentshire Galleries, Greens of Cheltenham and S.J. Phillips.

After being in this business for 22 years, I recognize a number of the pieces and others I simply go back and stare at longingly.

For all of you who are obsessed with Georgian jewels as much as I am, who don’t have the first or second printing, I strongly suggest that you pre-order the books through ACC Artbooks or when it hits Amazon.