Maison magic: the best designer jewellery books

These coffee table books, overflowing with luxury jewellery, open up a door to the exclusive world of history’s most daring designers. 

Cartier Panthère book

The best kind of coffee table is one scattered with heavy, glossy tomes, and these glamorous books, filled with luxury jewellery, make for wonderful gifts. For the jewellery lover in your life, there is a raft of new books released in time for Christmas, which open up a door to the exclusive world of some of history’s most daring designers.

A page in Cartier's new coffee table book starring the Cartier Panther in white gold, diamonds, emeralds, and onyx on a diamond and rock crystal medallion, photographed by Harald Gottschalk in 2014.

For an absolute classic that is sure to amaze, there is Cartier Panthère by Vivienne Becker and Berenice Geoffrey Schneiter (Assouline, £120), published to mark 100 years of Cartier’s most iconic motif. The cover itself is a delight - a gold-scripted red spine peeks out of a stylish hard case decorated with an illustration of a prowling panther. Inside, the delights continue with the history of the luxurious big cat charted from its emergence in the Maison’s designs of 1914, and catalogued with sketches, anecdotes, photographs and, of course, fabulous jewels.

Read more about the Cartier Panther celebrating a century of life

Another big jewellery house book launch this year was Graff (Rizzoli, £60) - a beautifully crafted book that has an esteemed list of contributors, including The Jewellery Editor founder Maria Doulton. Open the cover, which is naturally afire with images of diamonds, and you’ll be granted access to the private world of Laurence Graff and his six decades of hunting out some of the world’s most historic diamonds.

The pages of Stephen Webster's Goldstuck explore the British designer's most iconic creations.

For something more contemporary, pick up a copy of Goldstruck: A life shaped by jewellery (Heni, £40), which is a witty account of the life of British designer Stephen Webster, written by the jeweller himself. Or for an insight into some of the fascinating stories behind the big Maison jewels owned by celebrities such as Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor and Wallis Simpson, The Jewellery Editor contributor Beth Bernstein’s new book If These Jewels Could Talk: The Legends Behind Celebrity Gems (ACC Art Books, £50) is a must.

Read an excerpt from Beth Bernstein's jewellery book If These Jewels Could Talk

And if you happen to be the recipient of book tokens this Christmas, you might just want to hold on to them for a little bit, as there are yet more great books devoted to luxury jewellery scheduled to launch in 2016.

Explore the world of Chinese art-jeweller Wallace Chan when Wallace Chan: Dream Light Water is launched in January (Rizzoli, £185).

Books on Chinese art-jeweller Wallace Chan and iconic French jewellery designer Suzanne Belperron are set to hit the shelves early in the new year, with Jewelry by Suzanne Belperron: My style is my signature by Patricia Corbett (Thames & Hudson, £50) and Wallace Chan: Dream Light Water by Wallace Chan and Juliet de La Rouchefoucauld (Rizzoli, £185) both scheduled to launch in January. And François Chaille will publish yet more insights into the work of Cartier with Cartier Dazzling: High Jewelry and Precious Objects (Flammarion, £80), due out in February.      

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