Objects of Our Affection from Potterton Books

This Valentine’s Day, give your loved ones or yourself the gift of a timeless book. Curated by Potterton Books, these selections explore beauty from world famous jewelers, fashion designers, landscape architects, and floral artists.

1. Boucheron, The Secret Archives by Vincent Meylan (Antique Collectors Club Dist, $95)
The House of Boucheron represents one of the great Parisian jewellers of the last 150 years. Founder, Frédéric Boucheron opened his first shop in 1858. Many of his clients were not women of society, but femmes fatales of the demi-monde. From the ‘Ladies of Sin’ to the ‘King and Queens of the World’ Meylan reveals the riveting stories behind the jewels that the Parisian jeweller sold; the desires they aroused, the madness they provoked, the love they formalized, and the deaths they caused.

2. David Webb, The Quintessential American Jeweler by Ruth Peltason (Assouline, $85)
Jackie Kennedy compared him to Cellini, the Duchess of Windsor said he was today’s Fabergé, and The New Yorker described him as “the new meteor around town.” David Webb was the go-to jeweler in the 1960s and 1970s, and David Webb: The Quintessential American Jeweler is the official survey of this important designer. His devoted clientele have included Lee Radziwill, Diane von Furstenberg, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbra Streisand, and Gwen Stefani. This elegantly designed volume—filled with original photography of the jewelry, Webb’s own sketches and drawings, and more than sixty images from leading fashion magazines—will become the definitive reference book for collectors, dealers, and curators, and those who swoon at all that glitters.

3. Jar (Volumes I and II) by Joel Rosenthal (Vol. I Antique Collectors Club, Vol. II Metropolitan Museum of Art, $995 each)
Joel Arthur Rosenthal founded JAR, his Paris jewelry company on the Place Vendôme, in 1978. JAR jewels are renowned for their superb sense of color and remarkable craftsmanship-but above all for their fearless beauty. A master of the pavé technique, Rosenthal sets his stones with subtle gradations in hue to create a painterly effect. His extraordinary creations place him among the ranks of history’s greatest jewelers. JAR has published two elegant volumes documenting its creative journey.

4. Cartier, The Odyssey of a Style by Francois Chaille (Flammarion, $125)
The most exceptional new creations from the world’s premier jeweler. This exquisitely produced, luxurious tome presents one hundred of the latest creations by the famous jeweler, from high jewelry to precious objects. The Cartier style comes from a wide range of sources and inspirations-the mystery and opulence of China, India, and the Orient; the dynamic geometry of art deco; the energy of modern cities; the voluptuousness of orchids; and the strength and grace of panthers. Influences constantly evolve with the times yet remain faithful to the original style of Louis Cartier, the master of Parisian elegance and the art of high jewelry since the dawn of the twentieth century.

5. Van Cleef & Arpels, The Poetry of Time by Michels Serres (Editions Cercle D’art, $85)
For Van Cleef & Arpels, time is synonymous with poetry. The artistic challenge is to capture its fleeting essence without ever restricting it. Each season, the Maison creates dreamlike timepieces with a bold creativity that never ceases to amaze. Symbols of a partnership between the best watch-making and jewelry savoir-faire, they embody a heartbeat, a breath held back, an emotion, a memory, or an instant of happiness that longs to be enriched with new and precious moments. A Van Cleef & Arpels Timepiece offers more than art, beauty, or history. It represents the very Poetry of Time™. This book showcases the stunning watches of Van Cleef & Arpels.

6. Fashioning Fashion, European Dress in Detail 1700-1915 by Sharon Sadako Takeda (Prestel USA, $55)
Luxurious textiles, exacting tailoring, and lush trimmings abound in this glorious volume that celebrates the evolution of European dress through two centuries. Fashion is in the details. The textiles, tailoring, and trimmings all work together in the creation of the finest pieces. Drawing on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s internationally known fashion collection, this gorgeous book tells the story–in words and beautiful pictures–of fashion’s aesthetic and technical development from the Age of Enlightenment to World War I, a period when fashionable dress underwent sweeping changes. An invaluable resource for anyone interested in the evolution of fashion, this generously illustrated book provides a rich visual history of the changes that occurred in fashionable dress spanning a period of more than two hundred years.

7. Bold, Beautiful, and Damned by Dean Rhys-Morgan (Laurence King Publishing, $50)
When Tony Viramontes’ work appeared in the late 1970s, his hard and direct style of drawing was a marked contrast to the prevailing soft-pastel school of fashion illustration. He scored immediate success, rapidly acquiring the kind of prestigious editorial commissions normally given to photographers, from Lei, Per Lui in Italy, Vogue in the USA, The Face in Britain, and Le Monde and Le Figaro in France. This beautiful hardcover book brings together an extensive collection of his work, featuring striking images of smoldering and smoky-eyed men and women who vibrate with New Wave energy. Viramontes worked with some of the most celebrated names in fashion including Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Chanel, Claude Montana, and Christian Dior.

8. The Fashion Swatch Book by Marnie Fogg (Thames & Hudson, $50)
One of the most beautiful and comprehensive sourcebooks of fabric swatches from every key designer of the last century. This exhaustive sourcebook book presents the most eye-catching and important pieces from an array of more than 100 of the world’s fashion designers. Covering both contemporary and classic designs—from historic houses such as Sophie Hallette, masters of lace, to the edgiest work by Christopher Kane and Giles Deacon—it sets a new benchmark in the world of fabric design.

9. The Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden by by Guillaume Fonkenell, Laura Corey, Paula Deitz, Bruce Guenther, Sarah Kennel, Richard H. Putney (Yale University Press, $50)
The Tuileries Garden is a masterpiece of garden design and one of the world’s most iconic public art spaces. Designed for Louis XIV by landscape architect André Le Nôtre, it served the now-destroyed Tuileries Palace. The Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden brings together 100 works of art, including paintings and sculptures, as well as documentary photographs, prints, and models illuminating the garden’s rich history. Beautifully illustrated essays by leading scholars of art and garden studies highlight the significance of the Tuileries Garden to works of art from the past 300 years and reaffirm its importance to the history of landscape architecture.

10. Floral Design Manual by Pim van den Akker (Lannoo Publishers, $120)
The Floral Design Manual is the ultimate handbook for both professionals and amateurs in the floral design field. ‘Making every day’s life extraordinary’ is not just a slogan for Dutch designer and floral artist Pim van den Akker. His innovative style with the use of natural materials is to be shown and explained for the first time ever within the pages of The Floral Design Manual. Over 200 of the chosen techniques are thematically categorized, which transforms this book into a complete and very practical reference work.

11. Contemporary Designers’ Own Gardens by Barbara Baker (Antique Collectors Club Dist, $65)
Contemporary Designers’ Own Gardens offers a rare opportunity to view twenty gardens not generally open to the public, each one owned and designed by a garden designer. Fascinating text and sumptuous photography profile each garden, analyzing the relationship between the garden and its setting, planting schemes, the aims of the designers, and their achievements. In addition, the book examines the ways in which the designers’ personalities affect their creations, and how their own gardens differ from those of their clients. Contemporary Designers’ Own Gardens is an inspirational, informative and beautiful work, which will appeal to anyone who is interested in gardening, landscape architecture and garden design, be they a beginner or a professional.

12. Impressionist Portraits by Melissa McQuillan (Thames & Hudson Ltd)
Focuses on impressionist portraits.