Automotive Jewelry
Volume One: Mascots & Badges

by Michael Furman

While it is accepted that the advent of computers has changed our lives, photography may be the only product that has been affected from conception to delivery. All that has remained constant is the subject.

Automotive Jewelry by Michael Furman

Today’s computerized cameras, cell phones, and tablets have simplified photography to the point where users who concentrate primarily on framing their subjects will likely produce some excellent images.

This is a book about art. Michael Furman is a recognized master of the art of automobile photography. He is also a knowledgeable enthusiast who attends concours events and has a passion for his subjects and their history.

Automotive Jewelry is a celebration of those seemingly small additions to the automobile, the badges and mascots. While rarely contributing to a car’s function, they are nonetheless crucial to its identity. If the essence of the vehicle can be distilled into one recognized part, this is it.

Automotive Jewelry by Michael Furman

In this book, through Furman’s images and the comments of 35 other noted writers, designers, historians, restorers, judges and collectors, we learn more about what the mascots represented and why and about the designers who created both. Of note is the fact that many of the mascots and badges show signs of use and are far from perfect. That weathering warms them to the eye. For instance, the image of the well used cloisonné Alfa Romeo badge is particularly beautiful and the explanation of its evolution by Alfa historian Simon Moore explains the complex symbolism behind one of the most important interesting badges in automotive history.

Automotive Jewelry by Michael Furman

While the badges themselves are dramatic the settings in which many of them reside are equally stunning. Porsche script on the rear of a 356, a Mercedes Tri-star atop a 1928 Mercedes-Benz S radiator grill, a well-worn Carrozzeria Touring badge screwed to the side of a well worn Alfa 8C. It is all here and Furman makes you yearn to see the remainder.

Automotive Jewelry by Michael Furman

Automotive Jewelry by Michael Furman

At 276 pages, this is a lot to take in at one sitting. A bonus is that it is laid out in a fashion that allows the reader to easily use it as a reference guide. Many of the contributors will be familiar to the reader; Robert Cumberford, Simon Kidston, Bruce Meyers, Tony Singer, and New England’s Paul Russell among them. The book is generous in acknowledging its contributors and supplying short profiles for each for those of us who may not be familiar with them.

The book retails for $100 and you can learn more about it at Coachbuilt Press. View more exquisite photographs on Michael Furman's website.