One of the world s finest assemblages of rings and gemstones, the Guy Ladriere Collection in Paris is of major importance both to the collector and the art historian. This handsome volume, written and compiled by three of the foremost experts on gems and semi-precious stones, is the first to catalogue, illustrate and describe all the pieces in the Collection. Comprising some three hundred items, and including a rich and varied mixture of cameos and intaglios, the Collection ranges from ancient artefacts originating in the Minoan period to gemstones and rings of the nineteenth century. It also boasts many medieval pieces, Christian crystal plaques and Lombardic stones with inscriptions. Of special interest are the prize pieces in the Collection. These include the famous rhinoceros, most probably depicting an identifiable animal (the celebrated Madrid rhinoceros, also known as the Marvel of Lisbon and taken from Portugal to Spain in 1583); Queen Elizabeth I crowned with the mythological lionskin of Hercules, and presented as the power to tame the forces of evil; and some remarkable and varied pairs of heads."