of Signed Beauties of Costume Jewelry: Identification
& Values by Marcia "Sparkles" Brown, consists
of labeled, full color photographs of pieces
of jewelry including brooches, bracelets, necklaces,
earrings, and more. The book also contains an
introduction and sections discussing such topics
as rhinestone history and tips for starting
a collection. A glossary, bibliography, and
index further add to the book's usefulness.
But it's the stunningly beautiful photographs
that really give this book its punch. Brown
has assembled an eye-popping collection of pieces
that employ many different motifs: butterflies,
floral designs, fish, birds, mythological/fantasy
figures, whimsical characters, fruit, patriotic
motifs, abstract geometric forms, pieces reminiscent
of military medals or heraldic insignia, and
more. Unlike its companion book Unsigned
Beauties of Costume Jewelry, this volume
focuses on the famous designers of costume jewelry's
golden years such as Miriam Haskell, Hattie
Carnegie, Eisenberg, Coro, Trifari, Weiss, and
more. Every page brings new and marvelous treasures.
The pictures are all bright, clear, and vibrant.
In her author's notes at the start of the book,
Brown notes that she considers rhinestone jewelry
to be "the true 'American art form.'" Her passion
for the subject really shines through in this
visually pleasing compendium.