Rocks, Ice and Dirty Stones: Diamond Histories

Author(s): Marcia Pointon


`A story of glitter and the dark side of history. Here are diamonds as objects of desire, but also as magnets for human cupidity: theft, fraud and murder. This is a rich and compelling cultural history; cool, precise and laser-sharp in its analysis. And it sparkles with style.' - Carol Dyhouse, Professor of History (Emeritus), University of Sussex, and author of Glamour: Women, History, Feminism (2010)This probing, entertaining and richly illustrated book examines the history of the diamond trade through the centuries from India and Brazil to South Africa and Europe, and investigates what happens to diamonds once they reach the cutters and polishers.Marcia Pointon takes the reader on a unique tour of the ways in which the quadrahedron diamond shape has inspired design, architecture and painting, from the symbolism of medieval manuscripts to modern-day graffiti. She questions the etiquette 26 of engagement rings, from the multi-million-dollar `rock' to the high-street brilliant. Finally, she reminds us why and how lost, stolen or cursed diamonds create suspense in so much classic fiction and film.


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Marcia Pointon is Professor Emerita in History of Art at the University of Manchester. She is the author of Brilliant Effects: A Cultural History of Gem Stones and Jewellery (2009), Portrayal and the Search for Identity (Reaktion, 2012) and History of Art: A Student's Handbook (5th edn 2014).

General Fields

  • : 9781780237527
  • : Reaktion Books, Limited
  • : Reaktion Books, Limited
  • : 0.798
  • : March 2017
  • : 234mm X 156mm X 25mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Marcia Pointon
  • : Hardback
  • : 338.2782
  • : 272
  • : 100 illustrations, 50 colour