Hand-book of a Romanian Jewish jeweller during the Shoah, 1943

Alfred Lenard: Der Brillant Und Die Anderen Edel- Und Schmucksteine. With 68 illustrations. Timișoara (Romania): Self published, s.a. [ca. 1943].

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Alfred Lenard: Der Brillant und die anderen Edel- und Schmucksteine. Was der Juwelier und das kaufende Publikum darüber wissen sollten. [Diamonds and other gemstones. What jewellers and buyers should know about them.] With 68 illustrations after sketches of shapes and cuts (46), photographies of famous diamonds (16) as well as multicoloured microscope images of emeralds, rubies and sapphires (6) on 5 plates printed on glossy paper. Timișoara (Romania): Self published, s.a. [ca. 1943].

4mo. 49 [5 (table of contents, advertisements)] pages, 5 plates. Letterpress and half-tone offset, in original half-cloth with renewed spine with black typographic title printing on front board.

Comprehensive and richly illustrated gemological hand-book for jewellers, goldsmiths, dealers and collectors of diamonds and other gemstones, written by Alfred Lenard, a Timișoara (Romania) based jeweller and expert, who according tho his advertisement at the end of the volume also acted as appraiser for local branches of banks like the Deutsche Bank.

Author, Content: The author puts a special focus on usability by providing chapters about worldwide deposits of gemstones, shapes and cuts, how to trace forgeries, on pricing etc., and he also provides exhausting information about dozens of gemstones and semi-precious stones, e.g. emeralds, rubies and sapphires, ambers and opals, as well as pearls. Special emphasis Lenard puts on diamonds, two plates with splendid half-tone repros of the world's biggest, most famous and beautiful diamonds are also part of this extraordinary book. The other plates show sketches of shapes and cuts and multicoloured microscope images to explain differences between real and synthetic stones. – It is worth to note that the names of Lenard and all the other six jewellers and watchmakers from Timișoara that placed ads at end of this volume are typically Jewish (e.g. Francisc Safran), although Romanian Jews already had to face systematical persecution since 1940, when the regime became a close ally to Nazi-Germany.

Condition: Front cover with one stain, front joint of spine torn at botton, rear board with wear, edges slightly bumped, several pages with Romanian annotations (mostly translations), made with pencil and ink pen; in parts very slightly finger-stained, otherwise well preserved.

Rarity: Of outstanding rarity. OCLC/WorldCat, KVK and viaLibri Librairies show only one copy at all in institutional holdings worldwide (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Research Library), no copies in Romanian National and Academic Libraries. According to JBP/JAP/APO and RBH one copy only was ever auctioned (1996).