Take A Peek Inside Christie's 250-Year-Old Jewelry Archives

01/10/2017 10:10 am ET Updated Jan 10, 2017

For Architectural Digest, by Lindsey Mather.

Courtesy of Publisher

”Jewels play numerous and diverse roles in our lives: they can serve as measurements of wealth, icons of power, mementoes of love, the spoils of war, objects of desire and, even, emergency cash. But, above all, jewels are the embodiment of beauty,” writes François Curiel, the chairman of Christie’s Asia-Pacific, in the new book Christie’s: The Jewellery Archives Revealed (ACC Art Books, $95). Perhaps their loveliness is what makes the coffee table tome so appealing: You could stare at the sparkling pieces from the auction house’s 250-year-old archive without ever growing bored. Author Vincent Meylan delves into the stories behind both the gems andtheir owners — many of the creations within are from the collections of the rich, famous, and powerful: Marie Antoinette, Elizabeth Taylor, Queen Victoria’s granddaughters. Here, discover a few of the most impressive jewels from the book.

Courtesy of Christie's

Originally created for Princess Augusta of Hesse Cassel, Duchess of Cambridge, the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara was then copied and worn by Queen Elizabeth II; Diana, Princess of Wales; and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

Courtesy of Christie's

The amethyst and diamond necklace of Queen Alexandra.

Courtesy of Christie's

Princess Margaret wore the Poltimore Tiara on her wedding day.

Courtesy of Christie's

Elizabeth Taylor's emerald and diamond necklace by Bulgari, which she wore to a masked ball in Venice in 1967.

Courtesy of Christie's

La Peregrina, the famous royal Spanish pearl, on Taylor's pearl, ruby, and diamond necklace made by Cartier.

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