Australasia's Biggest Online Store

Shop over a million Toys in our Huge New Range

Brilliant Effects
By

Rating
Diamonds are not for ever - nor necessarily are they a girl's best friend. Ranging from precious stones as raw wealth to the symbolic properties of gems whether in Antiquity and the Bible or in Victorian art and literature, this book examines how small-scale and valuable artefacts have figured in systems of belief and in political and social practice in Europe since the Renaissance. Marcia Pointon offers an in-depth study that, drawing on unpublished evidence, reveals the importance of artefacts produced by jewellers and horologists, and their significance in shaping people's understanding of the world they live in. Pointon explores the capacity of jewels - whether crimson coral or translucent pearls - not only to fascinate but also to create disorder and controversy throughout history: what is materially precious is invariably contentious, whether in religious or in secular society; when what is precious is not gold bars or bonds but finely crafted artefacts made from hard-won imported materials, the stakes are particularly high. The struggle for control of both material and meaning is paramount, whether in scientific discourse (as with John Ruskin's crystallography) or in pictorial imagery, such as Poussin's interpretation of the origin of coral. The presence of jewels can never be ignored - this was recognized by writers as varied as Pliny the Elder, the economist Adam Smith, and Gustav Flaubert. And it remains true for us today whether in the bling favoured by international sports stars or the 'rocks' borrowed for the Oscars. Sumptuously illustrated, this entirely novel book challenges the reader to reassess the importance of material things as powerful agents in human relations and in visual and verbal representation - no one reading it will ever see jewellery in quite the same way again.
Product Details

About the Author

Marcia Pointon is Professor Emeritus in History of Art, Manchester University, and Honorary Research Fellow, Courtauld Institute of Art.

Reviews

"This book is brilliant cultural history, indeed." --Books & Culture Books & Culture

How Fishpond Works
Fishpond works with suppliers all over the world to bring you a huge selection of products, really great prices, and delivery included on over 25 million products that we sell. We do our best every day to make Fishpond an awesome place for customers to shop and get what they want — all at the best prices online.
Webmasters, Bloggers & Website Owners
You can earn a 5% commission by selling Brilliant Effects: A Cultural History of Gem Stones and Jewellery (Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art) on your website. It's easy to get started - we will give you example code. After you're set-up, your website can earn you money while you work, play or even sleep! You should start right now!
Authors / Publishers
Are you the Author or Publisher of a book? Or the manufacturer of one of the millions of products that we sell. You can improve sales and grow your revenue by submitting additional information on this title. The better the information we have about a product, the more we will sell!
Item ships from and is sold by Fishpond World Ltd.
Back to top