Selection of beads for a necklace. Photo: Mikimoto
Assouline has a busy autumn with no less than five books dedicated to jewellery. We’ll talk about the upcoming titles, but I wanted to draw your attention to the beautiful book presenting the Japanese company Mikimoto, famous worldwide for its cultured pearls since the beginning of the 20th century, even though the first cultured pearl dates back to 1893. It took years of experimentation to understand the natural mechanism that allows the oyster to secrete nacre and thus artificially force it (by introducing a nucleus) to produce pearls.
The book will be available this autumn. Photo: Assouline
Drawing of an Akoya pearl necklace with a tanzanite centre, 2014. Photo: Mikimoto
The book also proposes to examine the function and image of the pearl necklace in the history of fashion. It is clear that this jewel, often associated with an outdated classical image, has been able to modernise over time. The cultured pearl is a gem in its own right and can now compete with the rarest stones from the most sought-after sources. And match the prices of certain gems in the most select auctions!
Mikimoto cultured pearl and diamond necklace, which follows the wearer’s movements, 2010. Photo: Mikimoto
Vivienne Becker has taken up her pen to tell you this story. She takes you on a historical journey through the Mikimoto archives, but also on a societal journey, asking you about the place of pearls in modern jewellery. A beautiful 300-page book with 200 illustrations priced at 80€. It will be available very soon in all good bookshops and on the assouline.com website. A good gift idea…
Mikimoto necklace made of Akoya pearls and South Sea pearls, 2011. Photo: Mikimoto
See you soon!