by Vivienne Becker
For the past six decades, gemologist Alexandre Reza has been one of Paris’s—and indeed, the world’s—most exclusive jewelers, a master artisan and purveyor of exclusive gemstones based in Place Vendôme, the heart of fashion and luxury. To experience his ornaments is to discover history reborn: The diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and rubies of his collections have seen the most extravagant centuries and epochs, from French monarchies and Persian dynasties to the Italian Renaissance. And yet Reza’s precious stones are never meant to be an antiquated homage to a prestigious past; a creator by instinct, Reza takes history as inspiration rather than for reproduction. His handcrafted pieces mix ages and eras to create something special—a “harmonization of contradictory forces,” according to historian, and longtime Reza collaborator, Arlette Seta. This monumental edition, part of Assouline’s Ultimate Collection, presents more than one hundred rare pieces of Reza’s creations, and includes a history of the famed gem house in archival documents and vintage photography. Stunning, hand-bound, and nestled in a linen display case, Alexandre Reza is a limited-edition title that is worthy of the most discerning collector.
Vivienne Becker is a jewelry historian, journalist, and author of books on antique and twentieth-century jewelry design, including Art Nouveau Jewelry and Fabulous Costume Jewelry. She collaborated with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on the best-selling book Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box (2009). She is a contributing editor for How to Spend It, the Financial Times’s Luxury magazine, writes for Saturday Telegraph magazine, and lectures regularly.
Released in April 2012
W 13.22 x L 17.24 x D 2.91 in
Hand-bound limited edition printed on cotton paper in a suede clamshell case