This is a lovely book to look at and the author has unearthed some very rare photos you only normally see in low quality on the internet along with pieces sold long ago at obscure auctions for our viewing pleasure. Having said that I found this book somewhat disappointing. Given the topic there's some unavoidable cross over with the contents of Jewels of the Tsars: The Romanovs and Imperial Russia
, which is another visual treat. The author has also matched up photos of people wearing their jewels to sold pieces that is very interesting and lacking in "Jewels of the Tsars" on a scale such as this.
What it is missing though is a full list of the jewels sold in 1927 and those taken into exile with the imperial family. To get the 1927 list you have to get A History Of The Crown Jewels Of Europe. which is both rare and expensive or for the jewels in exile The Fate of the Romanovs
where the list is available as an appendix. The lack of this hard, useful information for those researching Russian imperial jewels will make this book of mostly visual use in the future rather than the last word on the subject. One other glaring omission in both of these books is a lack of photos of the jeweled badges the ladies in waiting wore for each empress. These are distinctly Russian pieces of jewellery, and while odd examples are shown neither book goes into them in any detail which is a great pity.
The text is 90% recounting of the biographies of various members of the imperial family and friends lives. I suspect a full family tree would be useful for those not familiar with the Romanovs. The majority of the information about the jewels themselves is to be found in the captions for the pictures and for me that made this a somewhat odd book, but one which nevertheless will have it's place on my bookshelf.