Reviews and customer reactions for Ethnic Jewellery and Adornment
Review from Tribal Art Magazine (The world's premier journal on the arts of indigenous cultures around the world).
"This book is truly a gem, not only for collectors, scholars, and dealers, but also for contemporary artists and designers, who will find a ready source of inspiration amid the wide array of surprisingly “modern” ornaments. Exquisitely produced with over seven hundred large-format photographs printed on high-quality paper, this work takes a serious yet accessible approach to the jewelry of tribal areas and cultures. All the illustrated artifacts are particularly well documented. Uniquely, the book begins its journey in Australia with eighty-five photos of Aboriginal ornaments. This is followed by 119 illustrated pieces from New Guinea and sixty-eight images covering the rest of Oceania. The objects presented come from the South Australian Museum in Adelaide and from the notable Daalder private collection. Truus and Joost Daalder began collecting jewelry in 1976, after settling in Adelaide. A passionate author, inveterate collector, and thorough researcher, Truus has devoted several years of travel and study to bringing this book to fruition. The photographs were taken by her son, Jeremy. Finally, the bibliography presented at the end of the book has been compiled with great care and thoroughness to allow the reader to continue the journey."
Review by Janet Mansfield
Janet Mansfield is a ceramic artist, author and President of the International Academy of Ceramics, Geneva, Switzerland. She lives in Gulgon NSW.
From The Journal of The Asian Arts Society of Australia in Australia, TAASAA Review, Vol. 19, No. 2, June 2010, p. 21:
With the stated aim of promoting public appreciation of ethnic jewellery, Truus Daalder provides much more to the reader through her knowledge of the spiritual values of tribal people, all learnt through the study of objects. Her book, ‘Ethnic Jewellery and Adornment’, covering the regions of Australia, Oceania, Asia and Africa, gives us an understanding of the cultures, beliefs and rituals through the objects worn and treasured by ethnic groups from these countries.
We learn what is important to life and living for people we cannot possibly meet, we learn the rituals of warfare, about birth and marriage taboos and the death rites of tribal people whose communities respect and demand strict rules of conduct. We are witness to beautiful objects, superbly presented, objects made by people in a traditional way to protect themselves against misfortune and natural disasters, to ensure the continuity of the family and to triumph over their enemies.
Truus Daalder’s father, a noted Dutch collector, started Truus on the road to looking at the role of art and culture in objects around her. It was in Australia where she first started to collect ethnic jewellery. She gives us a definition of ‘ethnic’ as referring to work made in a specific regional area that is relevant and traditional to that area. She qualifies ‘jewellery’ as being associated with precious metals and valuable stones whereas ‘adornment’ relates more to items made of materials such feathers, fibre, shells, and so on. In this book we are treated to both categories and of the highest and most stimulating quality.
As a potter of many years and with a small collection of ethnic jewellery and clothing, I have always been interested, like most potters, in mark-making, design and pattern, and what we can learn through the forms and decoration that adorn pots from ancient times or ethnic traditions. I am fascinated by the similarities that exist in work from diverse regions and, in particular, the differences that can be traced from one region to another perhaps as people migrate, or as objects are carried from one place to another. Or is it that human needs and ceremonies are more universal and the differences relate to locally available materials or other individual experiences?
Truus Daalder explores these and many other possibilities in her book. The craftsmanship shown by the makers of the objects depicted in the Daalder collection, and 80 per cent of this book is made up of the family collection, is exemplary. Flawless attention to detail and meticulous fashioning can be seen in every piece and all are objects of creative art. An Aboriginal work, a man’s ceremonial head ornament made of sulphur-coloured cockatoo feathers, wood and bees wax is an inspiringly beautiful piece as is the silver, coral and turquoise headdress for a woman in India. Or my favourite, the heavy neckpiece of 13 silver rods from South West China. Every page of text is filled with the research undertaken by Truus Daalder and told as an enthusiastic, dedicated and personal discovery she has made. All photographs depict objects of awe-inspiring beauty, some that must have taken months or years to assemble by nimble fingers and a sure eye for colour and design.
This book is a family affair. Truus wrote the text, son Jeremy took the photographs and husband Joost is the editor and promoter. He will tell you that the book was compiled for love of the subject. That love comes through in every aspect of the book’s production. It is a collector’s item in itself. An extensive bibliography, much of it part of the research undertaken for ‘Ethnic Jewellery and Adornment’, shows the attention given to the subject among academics and collectors. I can recommend this book to everyone interested in fine art, crafts and beautiful objects.
Review of the book by Robin Hodgson
Robin Hodgson lived in Papua New Guinea for many years, ran a gallery of excellent repute there, and has impeccable credentials as a person who has developed her extensive and serious knowledge over a long time. The review appeared in the March 2010 issue of UNA VOCE, Journal of the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia Inc. Naturally Robin's emphasis is on the important New Guinea section (which consists of about 21,000 words and 119 photographs), but she also comments on the book as a whole. We are most grateful to Robin for her pertinent and positive comments. The review follows in her own voice.
I am most privileged to have the opportunity to review this recently published book. This extraordinary publication of non-European jewellery and items of adornment is a heavyweight by all counts and definitely a collector's item in its own right.
The book in its dust jacket weighs in at 3.7 kg, hardbound in linen and printed on excellent paper with large format professional colour photographs of over 700 items of human adornment and jewellery - 500 from the Daalders' private collection augmented with 200 pieces from the collection of the South Australian Museum in Adelaide, many of which were especially brought out of storage for this purpose and are not usually seen by the public. The volume presents almost 50,000 words of carefully researched, scholarly and interesting comments on the culture of the Australian and Oceanic regions, represented with illuminating details of the items themselves. The particularly important and unusual element of this book is that, probably for the first time anywhere, it presents as a significant portion of the whole, Australian Aboriginal objects of adornment, rather than the usual offerings of boomerangs and implements: 40% of the book, with 272 photographs, covers indigenous Australia and Oceania. From my own point of view I am delighted to see such care and attention given to the large Oceanic section, particularly to objects from Papua New Guinea. The book is a treasure trove of body decorations, some familiar, others extraordinary, all of them fascinating. There are even one or two which came from my own gallery in Lae over the years. The sections on Asia and Africa are also wide-reaching and stimulating. A visit to the websites of: www.ethnicartpress.com.au or the entertaining: www.imagescience.com.au will give you a good insight into the superb pieces, the splendid quality of the photographs, and the background dedication and work of the eight years which went into the making of this publication. This is a momentous and memorable book.
Reaction from reader Anne Porteus
Essential reading for all lovers of traditional ethnic jewellery. It is a fantastic book Truus. I especially like the information provided about many pieces that I have not seen described in other ethnic jewellery and adornment books. Photography is really beautiful and your passion for the subject shines through in the presentation and information provided and illustrated in the images. It is a beautiful big book and worth every cent.
To those who truly appreciate "Ethnic Jewellery and Adornment": I have recently bought the 3.7 kg book and can proudly say that as a jewellery designer this will be my reference book to always refer to. Not only is the presentation exquisite, but the commentaries are incredibly informative in which the research would have been extensive and passionately sourced. Thank you Truus, Joost and Jeremy for a fabulous and very generous book of all your important findings.
Reaction from Rabari, UK
Not only full of gorgeous jewellery beautifully photographed but also a great read! Unlike so many dry text books it is easy and enjoyable to read and very personable too. Thanks for such a great addition to the genre!
Published Reviews & Articles
These files are usually in PDF form (you can download the free PDF reader program here).
Currently Available (links for download below):
Review from Connect (Bead Society of Victioria's qaurterly magazine - Issue 19, December 2011)
Review from World Sculpture News (Vol. 17 Number 2 Spring 2011) Also appeared in edited form in Asian Art News (Vol. 21 Number 1 Jan/Feb 2011)
Review from The Canberra Times
Article from the Australian Art Review, Issue 25, Nov 2010 - Jan 2011