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Throughout the 20th century, jewellery revealed the behind-the-scenes stories and the plot twists and turns in the real lives of celebrities that will always be larger than life. Some of the world’s most fabulous jewels not only illustrated power and status in society but these magical gems held tremendous sentimental value as they were linked to the most significant moments and memories of Hollywood royalty, international aristocracy and international icons of style. If These Jewels Could Talk offers a glimpse into the jewellery boxes of these celebrities – the personal tastes, heartfelt anecdotes and the true tales of the women who wore and collected the pieces. During the early- to mid-20th century, a majority of screen actresses requested to wear their own favourite pieces in films. This offered a peek into some the great jewellers of the time who were designing for women who could choose anything. Actresses such as Merle Oberon, Paulette Goddard, Joan Crawford, Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor as well as icons such as Jackie Kennedy and The Duchess of Windsor created signature styles for which they became known and which influenced generations of women, becoming part of our collective consciousness. The 20s through the 50s were a time when the renowned jewellery houses were also celebrities in their own right. They mixed with the socialites and royalty they bejewelled. In films, jewellery clearly developed and defined a character’s personality – as it did in real life – whether it be a rags-to-riches story or those that figured into the plot: for example, a Cartier bracelet in Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat, or a Harry Winston necklace in Notorious. Whether on or off screen, worn by the famed and the legendary, and designed by the most revered houses of the day, all of these jewels take us on a narrative journey that provide fascinating insight into the intriguing worlds of early Hollywood and nobility from the 1920s through today. AUTHOR: Beth Bernstein has over twenty years of experience in all facets of the jewellery industry. Her books included Jewelry’s Shining Stars (Fine Points Publishing) and My Charmed Life (Penguin). Beth has contributed to many magazines, journals and publications. She has written a blog since 2010 beth-bernstein.com/blog. 300 colour plates
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