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Thames & Hudson released “Jewelry for Gentleman” in September. It celebrates the jewelry styles that have stood the test of time and shows how tastemakers are wearing them in the 21st century. This image shows a 42-carat Gemfields sugarloaf cabochon emerald ring that opens to reveal frogs kissing on lily pads. (Image courtesy of Thames & Hudson)
London—In “Jewelry for Gentlemen,” released last September by Thames & Hudson, author James Sherwood writes, “a fourteenth-century BC solid-gold signet ring carved deeply with the hieroglyph of Tutankhamun could pass unnoticed in the jewelry section of Dover Street Market.”

It’s with this eye for timelessness that Sherwood delves into the world of men’s jewelry in the 21st century, examining the styles that have lasted the test of time to survive in an era when men are wearing jewelry far less than in preceding centuries.

20190103 JewelryforGentlemen wraptextA Victorian diamond 12-ray star brooch from Bentley & Skinner, centered on a 0.65-carat old brilliant-cut diamond, circa 1870, with tailoring by Henry Poole & Co. (Image courtesy of Thames & Hudson)Considering the dearth of men’s jewelry today, Sherwood highlights how some modern male tastemakers are successfully adding jewelry to their outfits, whether it be model Lucky Blue Smith, pictured at a Paris Fashion Week party in 2016 draped in artful layers of chains and bracelets, or actor Tom Hardy at a 2017 film premiere with a smart antique yellow gold, ruby and diamond tie slide adorning his Gucci outfit.

Sherwood contrasts these modern adaptations with their earlier era counterparts.

For example, on the subject of men’s ring placement, the author illustrates the Duke of Windsor’s preference for Cartier’s tri-color gold Trinity Ring, which he wore on his left pinky during his courtship with Wallis Simpson in the 1930s. The ring bore the inscription, “Darling Wallis.”

The style remains one of Cartier’s most popular styles for men today.

The tome also highlights a group of prominent designers shaping the landscape for men’s jewelry today: Ara Vartanian, Shaun Leane, Stephen Webster and Solange Azagury-Partridge, to name a few.

Divided into chapters dictated by jewelry categories, like rings; stick pins, studs and slides; and chains and pendants; “Jewelry for Gentleman” expertly weaves the old and the contemporary into a cohesive narrative that feels utterly relevant to today’s style and trends.

Sherwood explains in the book’s introduction, “Jewelry for Gentlemen celebrates times and tastes past that modern men have adapted and restyled for the twenty-first century. It also showcases pieces of jewelry that will be future heirlooms, as made by modern masters.”

Sherwood is a style journalist who currently contributes to the Financial Times and the International Herald Tribune. He’s written several books on men’s style, with a focus on tailoring and jewelry.

“Jewelry for Gentleman” is available through Thames & Hudson. The hardcover book’s 256 pages contain more than 400 illustrations, 300 of which are in color. It sells for $45.

(Image courtesy of Thames & Hudson)(Image courtesy of Thames & Hudson)

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