A sweeping history of luxury--from the pharaohs to the plutocrats--celebrating the quintessential role of opulence in human evolution
From diamonds to Daimlers, a garden planted with porcelain roses, a mantle sewn with 45,000 feathers, a staircase fashioned of crystal, and tea served in a $36 million cup, here is luxury as pleasure, luxury as splendor, and luxury as beyond. Across fourteen chapters longtime Vogueeditor Jill Spalding chronicles what luxury entailed for such of history's icons as Cleopatra, Charlemagne, Kublai Khan, Montezuma, Elizabeth I, Marie de' Medici, Louis XIV, Shah Jahan, and the Emperor Qianlong. Discover how luxury flourished the table, the arts, travel, and architecture; how luxury drove fashion, marked politics, and advanced religion.
Holding that luxury remains a global pursuit, Spalding links its evolution and impact to modern-day aspiration. How did luxury define the Rothschilds, the Vanderbilts, the Rockefellers, J.P. Morgan, and William Hearst? What has luxury meant to Coco Chanel, Elizabeth Taylor, Valentino, Daphne Guinness, and Leonardo DiCaprio? Find them all in this panoramic new survey. Informative, entertaining, and illustrated with more than 300 iconic archival images, Luxury: A History is a stunning, essential read for history lovers, fashion enthusiasts, art aficionados, and more.