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British Museum Press title wins William M.B. Berger Prize for British Art History

Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria: A Mirror to the World has won the 2011 William M.B. Berger prize for British Art History, one of the most prestigious awards in its field.

Jewellery

Created to reward excellence in the history of British art, the Berger prize is awarded annually to an outstanding book or exhibition catalogue published in any language. The winner is judged against a number of criteria, including research, lucidity, quality of writing and international appeal.

Announcing Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria as the winner at the awards ceremony last night, writer and broadcaster A.N Wilson as guest of honour said, “The wonderful thing about this book is that one can see what was happening in the world at the time reflected in the jewels discussed … the book takes you through some of the most beautiful objects you could possibly imagine… I can’t commend it highly enough.”

The judges found it ‘brilliantly organized in a wholly unexpected way’, hailing it as ‘a model of how to take a complex subject and package it into parts, each of which tells a story’. Referring to the size of the 552 page tome, one of the prize judges commented that the book was “hard to pick up, but even harder to put down!”

This is the first time the British Museum Press has won the William M.B Berger Prize, and also the first time a study of jewellery has been recognized by the prize.

Thrilled with the win, authors Judy Rudoe and Charlotte Gere said “We are both absolutely delighted to have won such a distinguished prize. Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria was not intended as a book for jewellery specialists, but for a much wider audience in an attempt to understand the 19th century through its jewellery. That this has been recognized means a huge amount to us”.

Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria: A Mirror to the World by Judy Rudoe and Charlotte Gere, £50

Available now from the British Museum shop

Category: Decorative Arts, Prizes and Awards

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