Two new books have just entered my library and I couldn’t wait any longer to introduce them to you. These two books were sent to me by the German publisher Arnoldsche and I have to say that they have just done a great job as the quality of these two books is superb. These two beautiful books are definitely to be added to your library!
1- Manfred Bischoff (🇩🇪🇬🇧) – Arnoldsche – from 48 euros
Received recently from the publisher Arnoldsche and I read it with great pleasure. This monograph is dedicated to a jewellery artist I admire enormously and that many people outside Germany do not know. So if you know Manfred Bischoff, raise your hand. But I don’t suppose there will be many of you. And that’s okay, this book will allow you to discover him, his life and his achievements.
Born in 1947, Manfred Bischoff was born in Schömberg in the Black Forest region. He left us in 2015. He had lived in Italy for many years. His home in Tuscany had become a refuge for him. His childhood in Germany, ravaged by the Second World War, left indelible marks on him. He grew up in the traumatic atmosphere of a country that had to take responsibility for its actions as well as live with the consequences of those actions, including the establishment of the Iron Curtain and the clear division between East and West. When he arrived in West Berlin at the age of 18, he discovered both the city and its countless possibilities. He left behind the isolation of his childhood. And the wall that separates the city, the asphalt jungle as he describes it, becomes for him a metaphor for the black forest that surrounded the small town of his youth.
He discovers the jewellery business by chance, through his mother who wants to see him get a real job. But the technique will reveal a sensitivity that his parents did not suspect. He began an apprenticeship with Reinhold Reilling in Pforzhein and then went to Munich to work with Hernann Jünger, one of the most beautiful names in contemporary German jewellery. If not the most beautiful. Back in Berlin, he set up a studio in 1981. The Werkfabrick was as much an interdisciplinary studio as a field of exploration. But in 1984, bored with Germany, he moved to Italy. There, the surrounding and open countryside had no walls. No more Berlin Wall, no more scary black forest, just a place to create.
The 256-page book with almost as many illustrations will cost you 48 euros when it leaves the publisher. This incredible and rich monograph has been made possible thanks to Rike Bartels, a jeweller based in Munich but who was Bischoff’s student between 1993 and 2003. Through this book, you will discover the diversity of his pieces, his way of seeing jewellery and the world. I hope that the poetry of his work will touch you as much as it touches me.
2-“Constantin Wild” – (🇬🇧) – Arnoldsche – From 124 euros
The book published jointly by Constantin Wild and Arnolsche has more than 300 pages and 470 illustrations. Designed as a beautiful art book, it is a real coffee table book as the Americans say.
In the year 2022, Constantin Wild & Company celebrates its 175th anniversary. The company has its roots in the town of Idar-Oberstein, known for its expertise in cutting agates. For centuries, it has been the German city dedicated to the gemstone trade. And a town known to all jewellers. The Wild company was founded in 1847, but it has been in existence for several centuries, its arms going back to 1557, it is a dynasty of agate cutters and jewellers. The story goes that in 1820 Anna Eva Wild gave birth to an illegitimate son following an affair with a young jeweller of Strasbourg origin, Johann Carl Werle. She was then married to another jeweller, Johann Carl Bohrer. This child grew up in the Wild family and was christened Johann Carl Wild IX. Ambitious and adventurous, he founded the company on his return from St. Petersburg where he had been working as a jeweller. His business acumen enabled him to grow the company rapidly. He flattered the powerful with gifts and established solid commercial relations with England, India, South Africa and the USA. The name of the company changed in 1901 when his son gave it the name we know today: Constantin Wild & Co. The growth continued and in 1910, no less than 100 tailors, 14 jewellers and 16 engravers were working on the expansion of the company.
The book is rich in family photos and anecdotes that allow us to understand the history of one of the most beautiful houses dedicated to exceptional gems. This one is full of twists and turns, from the first world war to the second, from the confiscation of their property to the rebuilding of the legend, the family has constantly bounced back to offer some of the most beautiful stones. Even today, their gems are everywhere in high jewellery collections. It is impossible not to think of them in front of the remarkable jewels that are presented. The price of the book is as high as its quality, it will cost you 124 euros from the publisher. It is well worth it and any gemologist should have it in his library.
See you soon!