A World of Necklaces – the fourth book in a series that also features rings, bracelets and earrings – demonstrates the importance and variety of the remarkable Ghysels collection of ethnic jewellery.
The collection reflects the rigour and taste with which its creators selected each item on a quest that took them from Africa to Asia and from America to Oceania, searching for the most beautiful, the most authentic, the most original pieces of jewellery.
The forms, colours and materials of these necklaces are astonishing, while the modernity of some pieces in the collection has not escaped the notice of contemporary jewellery designers.
It is rare for jewellery to have a solely aesthetic purpose, for above all it is anchored in the social, religious and political contexts that lend it meaning. Differing attitudes are explained by the function assigned to jewellery in the traditional societies from which the examples in the book are drawn.
Throughout this book, the author sets out to untangle the intricacies of the way necklaces are used and what they signify. She describes the materials and draws attention to the originality of the craftsmen, who have contributed to the enrichment of a cultural heritage that has long been under threat and which the Ghysels collection is helping to preserve.
The book comprises over 300 annotated and superb photographs, a glossary, an index, maps and a general bibliography.
The series:A World of Head Ornaments. Africa, Asia, Oceania, AmericaA World of Rings. Africa, Asia, AmericaA World of Earrings. Africa, Asia, AmericaA World of Bracelets. Africa, Asia, Oceania, AmericaA World of Belts. Africa, Asia, Oceania, America