Jewels were a statement of identity and a demonstration of taste, breeding and wealth. Occasionally, they might also be designed to provoke or contain hidden symbolism. They were ordered from European jewellery firms like Boucheron or Cartier, master goldsmiths like Claude Ballin or, of course, from Fabergé, Goldsmith by Special Appointment to the Imperial Crown. The book reflects the fashions of four centuries: baroque, rococo, neoclassical, empire, art nouveau and modern, also from the 21th century.
The Hermitage’s fabulous jewellery collection is one of its greatest treasures. Over the centuries it has become the repository of thousands of precious pieces. In the autumn of 2019, hundreds of them will travel to the Hermitage in the Netherlands to feature in Jewels! In this book you will encounter flamboyant female rulers like Elizabeth of Russia and Catherine the Great, but also grand dukes and noble families of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. They had their portraits painted by leading artists and on special occasions they wore dazzling gowns and ensembles set off by carefully selected bijoux.