Egyptian Revival necklace circa 1920’s, gold, lapis, enamel.


Fall Letter

Dear ASJH Member,

We are approaching the end of what has been a long, hot summer for everyone, and I suspect we’re all looking forward to the upcoming fall season. ASJH has some interesting things planned for our ASJH members, and info will be forthcoming in your email boxes.

One event of particular note is the first “Jewelry Week”, November 12-18 2018. Jewelry-related events will be occurring throughout the entire New York City and Borough areas. It’s an exciting new event, and our participation and support will consist of a fabulous jewelry and art book sale from the collection of Ruth and Dr. Joseph Sataloff.

Many of you may know that “Dr. Joe”, as we affectionately referred to him, was a prominent collector of Art Nouveau jewelry. He literally wrote the book on the subject: “Art Nouveau Jewelry – A Practical Guide to Its History and Beauty”. Although first published in 1984, the book has stood the test of time with its lucid text, magnificent jewelry photos, and a valuable compendium of international maker’s marks. Jody and Dr. Robert Sataloff, their children, have chosen to donate the couple’s library to ASJH for us to sell in the hopes that these wonderful books will find new homes with jewelry lovers everywhere. They were staunch supporters of ASJH, and believed in our mission to share information about jewelry history worldwide. We are exceptionally grateful for this wonderful gift, and look forward to sharing the book list with you in upcoming correspondence.

Another event of note was our interview with Adam Thomson, a correspondent for The Financial Times newspaper. He called to talk to ASJH about the changes in the downtown Los Angeles jewelry market, and the difficulties smaller businesses are experiencing with this rapidly changing market in both real estate and the jewelry industry. Although to some it may seem that the jewelry industry is shrinking, from our perspective it is growing. We will be speaking more extensively on this subject in future venues, but let’s be clear on one thing: humans have been adorning themselves with jewelry for thousands of years. This has been consistent through wars, scientific innovations, religious changes, sociological upheavals, financial crises, and whatever else history has thrown at us. Perhaps the type of jewelry and the way in which it is acquired has changed, but the core issue of jewelry’s desirability hasn’t. If you’d like to read the article in depth, it’s in the Sept 1 issue of The Financial Times both in print and online at Additionally, you may access the article in InStore magazine online.

We look forward to seeing more of you in the coming months at our jewelry lectures.

Diana Singer
President, ASJH

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Letter From the ASJH President

On behalf of the ASJH Board of Directors, please allow me to welcome you to our newly launched website. For the past 30 years, we have shared our passion for jewelry history with you through varied means. ASJH membership offers attendance to our famous lecture series, from information on precious stones, stories of famous and infamous jewelry collectors, the manufacturing and marketing of jewelry, famed jewelry houses that have grown and thrived over decades, to general jewelry history in all its fascinating and varied forms. ASJH jewelry book signings offer the opportunity for members to hear authors speak and then to purchase a specially discounted and signed copy of the book. Our “members – only” curated museum tours of special exhibits and our exclusive access to private workshops and exhibitions further enhance a rich appreciation for jewelry history. The triannual newsletter has rapidly become archival information for members, museums, and jewelry aficionados alike, including synopses of past lectures, in-depth book reviews, interviews of jewelers and historians, and our comprehensive upcoming calendar.

ASJH membership has always been and continues to be astoundingly diverse: we have members in their early twenties and members in their nineties, all of whom offer valuable and different perspectives on jewelry but who uniformly share an abiding passion for jewelry history. Networking is key, and event attendees benefit significantly from the “meet and greet” times prior to and after events. We are tremendously proud of our annual scholarship award for students of jewelry history, both because it rewards their enthusiasm and enriches our knowledge.

ASJH is confident that this new website launch will introduce us to a new spectrum of members. Follow our active Instagram page, and we encourage all to check it regularly for upcoming events, museum visits, images of paintings and art that inspire design and thought, and of course images of memorable jewels. And next year we will be hosting a jewelry conference – one that will assuredly be memorable and well worth attending.

With the launch of our updated website, ASJH is for the first time ever offering a free, downloadable copy of our most recently published newsletter, which is normally offered only to members. It’s a wonderful issue, with book reviews, exhibition reviews, and an in depth interview with a prominent magazine editor. Please read it and enjoy it, and then consider becoming a member of the American Society of Jewelry Historians. (Click here.) Membership information is available on the website page here, and we look forward to meeting new members and friends in the months to come. Learn from and with us, and we invite you to grow with us. Help us learn from jewelry history’s past to shape its future.

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Art Nouveau choker plaque, circa 1901, made by Levinger and Bissinger for the French market.
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October 2018

Jewels of the Rich, the Famous, and the Infamous

October 1, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Phillips Auction House, 450 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022 United States
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Everyone harbors a secret (and sometimes not so secret) fascination with the jewels of the rich and famous.  How do these individuals acquire their treasures, and what are the stories behind both the people and the jewels?  Whether inherited or purchased or gifted, from royalty to famed movie stars and turn of the century courtesans, share in these stories of the rich, the famous, and the infamous.  Some names will be well known and familiar, but we promise that some…

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November 2018

American Society of Jewelry Historians Jewelry Book Sale

November 14, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Doyle & Doyle, Inc., 412 West 13th Street
New York, NY 10014-1103 United States
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The ASJH was fortunate enough  to receive the generous donation of the Ruth and Dr. Joseph Sataloff Library.  Included in this fabulous collection are over 1200 books, auction catalogs, and magazines with jewelry related articles, most of which are out of print and difficult to find.  Many of the books are rare and desirable.  Most of the books are jewelry related, but there are plenty on art and history as well.  This is a wonderful opportunity to browse through a…

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January 2019

Jewelry: The Body Transformed

January 10 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10028
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ASJH members are invited to a Curator-led tour of “Jewelry: The Body Transformed" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC. Please remember to RSVP to if you plan on attending. What is jewelry? Why do we wear it? What meanings does it carry? Traversing time and space, this exhibition explores how jewelry acts upon and activates the body it adorns. This global conversation about one of the most personal and universal of art forms brings together some 230 objects…

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Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria: A Mirror to the World

January 31 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Phillips Auction House, 450 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022 United States
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Lecture by Judy Rudoe This lecture emerges from the book of the same title, co-authored with Charlotte Gere in 2010. Taking a new approach to the study of jewellery in the Victorian age, this lecture seeks to understand the nineteenth century through its jewellery. The “age of Victoria” is taken in its widest sense to encompass jewellery from Europe and America, at a time when expanding foreign trade, the new illustrated press and a growing tourist industry brought jewellery from…

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February 2019

Jewelry: The Secret Language in Portraits of Power

February 19 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
The 92nd Street Y, Buttenwieser Hall, 1395 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10128
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Stellene Volandes joins Jonquil O’Reilly Vice President, Specialist, Head of Sale for Old Master Paintings at Christie’s, Stephanie L. Herdrich, Ph.D. Assistant Curator of American Painting and Sculpture The American Wing The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Diana Singer President, American Society of Jewelry Historians, Owner, Abbott & Austin Estate Jewels. A lively and entertaining investigation into how artists have used jewelry as signifiers of wealth in portraiture, from Queen Elizabeth I mounds of pearls to the subtler pieces in…

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March 2019

Power Against Evil: Eye Beads and other Protective Measures

March 11 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Phillips Auction House, 450 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022 United States
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Stone agate eye bead, 3rd millennium BCE, Mesopotamia

Stone agate eye bead, 3rd millennium BCE, Mesopotamia   Lecture by Lois Sherr Dubin The evil eye is an epic story of humanity’s on-going struggles between superstition and reality, religion and science, moderation and excess. Prior to the evil eye, there were fertile eyes, holy eyes and solar eyes. When and why did eye imagery become associated with evil? Belief in an eye of evil has a long history and wide geographic spread. Beginning with Paleolithic times and continuing to…

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September 2019

Sacred to Memory: A talk with Sarah Nehama

September 11 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Register to See Location New York City, NY

This talk will illustrate and explain examples of rings, bracelets, brooches, and other pieces of mourning jewelry from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The speaker will discuss the history, use, and meaning of mourning jewelry in Western European and American culture as well as related pieces of material culture such as gravestones, painted portraits, and photographs. Sarah Nehama has a degree in art history from Boston University and has been designing and creating one-of-a-kind precious metals jewelry for over…

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October 2019

Georgian Jewelry: The Real Deal and How to Spot It

October 7 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Register to See Location New York City, NY

This lecture by Jacquelyn Bush, owner of Aesthetic Engineering, will focus on examples of both fine and costume jewelry dating from 1716-1830. The object of the lecture will be to learn to correctly identify genuine Georgian era jewelry through the context of comparative examination, to discuss the developments of jewelry manufacturing technology during the Industrial Revolution, and how to spot the reproduction Georgian jewels, fakes and frauds flooding the market. Space is limited. Advance reservations required on a first-come-first-served basis. Email: or call…

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Diamonds: A Lecture and Reminiscence of a Lifetime’s Collecting

October 29 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Register to See Location New York City, NY

The lecture will feature diamond jewels belonging to the personal collection of Benjamin Zucker, a third generation diamond and gemstone dealer. Thirty five jewels made for wealthy European patrons will be discussed, and the importance of India and Brazil as historic diamond sources will be mentioned. This lecture will trace the history of diamond cuts over the centuries, and attendees will have the opportunity to examine museum quality jewels showcasing these diamonds. It's a rare opportunity to see rare jewels…

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November 2019

Curator Led Tour of “Jewelry for America” Exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

November 7 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Register to See Location New York City, NY

This wonderful exhibit spans three hundred years of jewelry evolution in this country. With five chronological sections revealing changes in styles, materials, and techniques woven into a sociohistorical narrative, it relates the rich history of jewelry in America. Beth Carver Wees, Ruth Bigelow Wriston Curator of American Decorative Arts for the Met, has graciously offered to lead attending ASJH members through the exhibit, offering observations and insights as only an experienced curator can. Space is limited. Reservations and payments must…

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