Christie's, the jewellery archives revealed, by Vincent Meylan

Book review:

If you, like I, love jewellery, and the stories surrounding amazing jewellery, then you have to buy this book. It is the incredible story of the auction house Christies, written by jewels. It’s an incredible story telling of how specific jewels were inherited, between royals and celebrities and how they came to Christies.

Christies, which was founded by Mr Christie in London 250 years ago, had the first sale of royal jewellery in 1767, where some of the jewellery from Mary Queen of Scots, who was beheaded in 1587, was sold. 

Christie’s have sold jewellery from the British Royal Families, and also the crown jewels from France, Russia, Bavaria, Serbia, Egypt, India and Spain. All the stories behind these jewels are told in detail throughout this book in an extremely infatuating sense.  There’s a wonderful story of how incredibly valuable jewels were brought to Marie Antoinette before the French revolution, how she wore them, and who kept them safe, when Marie Antoinette was imprisoned, sentenced and beheaded. There are so many incredible stories regarding royal families all over Europe, on how their jewellery survived wars and revolutions. 

We read about Empress Josephine, the wife of Napoleon I, and Empress Eugine, wife of Napoleon III and many more, followed by Hollywood royalties like Elizabeth Taylor and Gloria Swanson, and continuing into the sale and history of some of the biggest and most valuable diamonds ever sold in an auction.

The author, Vincent Meylan, is a specialist in precious stones and high jewellery and has written several biographies about the history of precious stones, and he surely knows what he is talking about. Mr Meylan was granted full access to the archives of Christies and has the knowledge of both the jewellery and the history of the collectors, to tell their stories in the most eloquent way possible.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book; the images and stories are eloquently braided together to tell extremely amazing anecdotes in the most infatuating sense possible.