Information concerning the book

For the first time ever, in-depth research has been made into the history of the women who have led fashions in diamond jewellery. Strangely enough, these women are often synonymous with charisma, intelligence and audacity. They are not just mad about diamonds, they are above all examples for their generation. They set new trends with their life-style, their dress sense and their jewels.

This is a beautiful story, where at each stage of human civilisation, women have gradually found freedom. Although they may have been seen as scandalous at the time, they all contribute to the development of the image of the free woman. Every era has its Diva and each Diva must be seen from the point of view of her era.

First came the women of power such as Elizabeth I of England, or Catherine II (the Great) of Russia who were both very conscious of the importance of their image. Their image of power, so often expressed by sumptuous jewellery, took other monarchs by surprise. Louis XIV and Napoleon also understood how to put diamond jewellery to great use. For a long time, the court of France was an example of splendour and monarchical power. Others later followed this example by ordering majestic collections of jewellery.

Later, in the 19th Century, rich women and wives of industrial leaders gave in to the temptation of possessing many diamonds as symbols of their wealth. Others, such as Empress Elizabeth of Austria or Eugenie of France led fashions due to their notoriety and their beauty. They become symbols of elegance. Legends such as Sarah Bernhardt, Gloria Swanson, Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor or the Duchess of Windsor are often associated with their jewellery, as if the jewels were part of the Diva herself. These women still remain an inspiration for many designers and jewellery houses. In the USA, women such as Doris Duke, Daisy Fellowes or Barbara Hutton are known for their legendary jewellery collection and their exquisite taste. Princess Grace of Monaco, Jackie Kennedy and even Marilyn Monroe remind us of mythical moments such as a wedding, a public appearance, a scene of a film which we will always associate with a certain crown or necklace. Even today, exceptional women wear the world’s most beautiful jewellery. If only at events in Cannes or in Holly- or Bolly- wood, our Divas will always be inspiring...

The book, marvellously illustrated plunges the reader into this fascinating story of Diamond Divas. Aristotle Onassis said: "If women didn't exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning"... and he is right!

The author:

Vinciane van Grotenhuis van Onstein has long been passionate about the history of gems and jewellery. During her studies for her MA in political sciences, her interest in gems became greater. She wrote her final year thesis on the "political role of the diamond", otherwise known as war diamonds. Her interest in the diamond market led her to become a certified gemmologist at HRD (the Diamond High Council in Antwerp) and she learnt grading at the Arslanian Cutting Works. Following that, she specialised in the history of jewellery by working in London and as an independent consultant to the jeweller Wolfers. She now organises conferences and international exhibitions to promote diamonds with her company Powerhouse Services which, among other things, markets projects in this fascinating sector.

Details
240 pages
More than  200 illustrations
Separate English, Dutch and French editions
Size: 24 x 30 cm
Hardcover with jacket
Full colour
Date of appearance: April 10th,  2008
Exhibition from April 11th till June 8th 2008
Price at the exhibition: 39,50 Euro
Price in the bookstore:  45 Euro

ISBN-nr. English 9789085864370
ISBN-nr. Dutch 9789085864400
ISBN-nr. French 9789085864387
 
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Binding order by FAX to: +32 3 320 95 69

Or, by post or e-mail to
BAI Publishers
Schijnparklaan 14
B-2900 Schoten
kathleen.borms(at)blonde.be

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