cover image Golden Treasury

Golden Treasury

Rizzoli, Susan Stronge. Rizzoli International Publications, $37.5 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-1012-3

Primarily a catalogue, this heavily illustrated volume, published in association with London's Victoria & Albert Museum, cursorily documents four eras of Indian jewelry-making: ``early'' Indian gold; the jewelry and coins of ancient India; the jewelry of the Mughal period, which began c.1530 and ended with the Indian Mutiny; and Indian jewelry of the present day. In short essays on each of these seemingly arbitrarily chosen periods, the authors, researchers at various British museums, introduce the reader to artistic terms and trends and provide a brief historical context for the pieces shown here. Unfortunately, most of the photographs are poorly lit, some are out of focus and they are mainly taken against a dull, beige background--totally unsuitable for the gold objects displayed. This is a missed opportunity, even though some of the rings, bracelets, necklaces, turban ornaments, hairpieces, etc., pictured are powerful enough to impress despite their lackluster depiction. A further disappointment: many of the captions fail to describe the objects adequately. (May)