Gold has been an important part of Middle Eastern culture for centuries. And it goes without saying the pure, indestructible and dazzling precious metal still has deep economic, cultural, social and aesthetic relevance in the region. Dubai, with its dedicated souq for gold, is even called the “City of Gold” thanks to all the variety, quality, cheapest prices and more. With so much continued interest in the hypnotic metal, which remains the supreme representation of luxury, Assouline’s new book, “Gold: The Impossible Collection,” is the perfect coffee-table addition to gift or have handy for visitors to appreciate.
With perceptive texts by art historian Bérénice Geoffroy-Schneiter, the handcrafted ultimate collection volume showcases 100 of the rarest and most precious treasures. In the book, the journalist and art critic unites natural splendour and human craftsmanship, whether it’s amazingly detailed artifacts of ancient global civilizations or surprising modern creations by artists Man Ray, Hu Qin and Chris Burden.
Gold, an eternal symbol of wealth and glory, has been a source of inspiration to everyone from esteemed artists to ancient historical figures. Thanks to its irresistible luminosity and remarkable resilience, it is the ideal medium to symbolise visible and invisible forces. Artists from Gustav Klimt to Andy Warhol and Yves Klein have paid tribute to its metaphysical and fantastic nature. Then there are the ancient Egyptians who regarded gold as “the flesh of the gods.” Its lasting and universal fascination also appealed to rulers like Louis XIV. The Sun King adopted Apollo as his symbol, transformed Versailles into a palace bathed in gold and light, setting a standard for all the other royal courts of old Europe.
Since the dawn of time, the malleable precious metal has added a divine spark to any human endeavour and generated countless fantasies and beliefs. Gold, which has led powerful rulers to the afterlife, casts a delicate glow on the Buddhist pagodas of Southeast Asia, illuminates the halos of saints and adds brilliance to the crowns of kings and popes. Also gleaming on haute couture runways or glittering on a rapper’s grill, the prized element transforms and delights in countless ways.
“Gold: The Impossible Collection” is also available in a special edition handcrafted volume nestled in a luxury gold-leaf covered case with a clear sliding lid infused with gold flakes.