Thursday, 21 April 2016


Mother-Of-Pearl: Antiques & Collectibles was written by Michael Meyer, Dawn Meyer, and Patricia Martin. Its main appeal is its photographs of more than 5,000 mother-of-pearl objects. It's the first extensive survey of mother-of-pearl, as the dust jacket explains: "For the first time in the English language, a thorough, well-researched book has been written on the history, collection, and craft of carved mother-of-pearl."

The book begins with a brief history of mother-of-pearl production. It covers most regions of the world, though each country is summarised in only a few paragraphs. Unfortunately, the items illustrated are all from the authors' collections: "The scope of this book is confined to material we have personally accumulated over the past ten years. It does not encompass museum collections or other private collections."

Most of the pieces are trinkets and accessories. A lengthy chapter on mother-of-pearl carvings is of more interest, as are related chapters on decorative arts and religious ornaments. One of the most notable examples is a model of the al-Aqsa mosque presented to King Hussein of Jordan.

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