Figural jewelry always brings a smile. Perhaps it is because I have 9 pets and used to work at Lincoln Park Zoo. I though I would share this book called "The Jeweled Menagerie" with you. It is written by Suzanne Tennenbaum & Janet Zapta and has both whimsical and truly jaw dropping jewelery from the very finest names such as Tiffany, Boucheron, David Webb, Mauboussin and the list goes on. Birds, bugs, fish, rabbits, snakes, dragonflys and so much more. Gold, platinum, diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires, Oh My!
They go through the various periods of time starting with The Nineteenth Century and is up to the present. There is a chapter on Art Nouveau, Art Deco, 1930's-40's and of course the 1950'-60's. Every page has simply stunning photos and a great description of the jewelry of each period. You can see where some of the costume jewelry designers got their ispiration.
Of course when these fantasy designs are done in real gemstones and metals the prices are out of my reach, but there are lots of vintage costume jewelry designs that can also make you smile. My photo gallery will give you just a hint of the beauties shown in the book as well as some lovely faux jewelry that always get comments.
Check your local library network for books on both fine and costume jewelry. I assure you hours of fun reading about the times and so much fun looking at the pictures!