Coffee table books are collectibles most of us have. They are large, beautiful hardcover books that keep us interested in moments of solace, provide great conversation starters, and can be a window into our interests and passions for those visiting our homes and offices. In this article, the editorial team at Gentleman’s Gazette has curated a short list of what we consider some of the most essential and beautiful coffee table books that are worthy of any gentleman’s attention. Whether it becomes a permanent fixture on your table or a piece that’s rotated with others in your collection, we’re certain you’ll find some new and wonderful pieces in this list.
Recommend Coffee Table Books
Before They Pass Away
For three years, photographer Jimmy Nelson explored the most remote corners of this world capturing mesmerizing photographs of the last surviving tribes on Earth. This photography-rich book is a final glimpse into the secret and beautifully dangerous world of the most archaic tribes around the world.
Nelson spent the past three years exploring the most remote places on Earth to capture mind-blowing photographs of the last surviving tribes on Earth. Click here to get Before They Pass Away.
I Am Dandy: The Return of the Elegant Gentleman
Many of our readers will be familiar with this gorgeous treatise on dandyism in this modern world. Photographer Rose Callahan and writer Nathaniel Adams spent years visiting the world’s best dressed and most elegant dandies in their homes to document their lives. One of the dandies featured is none other than our Editor-in-chief Sven Raphael Schneider. This is beautifully rich and magnetic book that will be perused time and time again by those interested in the world’s most rakish gentlemen. Click here to get I Am Dandy.
The Elegant Man: How to Construct the Ideal Wardrobe
Often considered a bible for well-dressed men, The Elegant Man is a look into the tactics and strategies contemporary gentlemen should implement in order to curate a fashionable and timeless wardrobe. Comprehensive and lavishly illustrated, Riccardo Villarosa covers everything the modern man needs to know in order to build the wardrobe many of our readers strive for. Click here to get The Elegant Man.
The Watch Book
In 2014, Tourneau released their first coffee table book in an effort to enter the publishing market. The limited edition hardcover book is a collection of insights from industry insiders. A collaborative effort by journalists, bloggers, designers and Tourneau’s staff, it follows the journey of watches from past to future and is a perfect choice for horologists and watch enthusiasts. For sale at Tourneau stores, though The Watch Book is also available here.
An English Room
A look into the treasured world of England’s most revered celebrities, this collection of photographs is a glimpse into the rooms that inspire and calm England’s leading men and women. Click here to get The English Room to get it.
When our friend Scott Schuman first started out, his only goal was to photograph people on the street who looked beautiful. From Brazil to China, this exquisite anthology is rich with images of well-known fashion figures as well as voyeur and candid shots of anonymous passersby whose sartorial imagination and sprezzatura inspired Schuman and will delight the reader. Click here to get The Sartorialist.
The James Bond Archives
For the manliest of men, there is no film and book series more coveted than James Bond. Although we disagree with some of his fashion statements (wearing a Rolex Submariner or Omega Seamaster with a tuxedo), we certainly understand the appeal of such an elegant and powerful spy. This beautiful book charts 50 years of the franchise with archives of photos, designs, storyboards, and production materials never seen before. Click here to own The James Bond Archives.
London, Portrait of a City
Samuel Johnson once said that “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” This beautiful collection shows London’s architecture, landmarks, famous streets, and the fashions of its most charming men and women. It is one of our three recommended books in the sprawling Portrait of City series from Taschen. Click here to get London, Portrait of a City.
Paris, Portrait of a City
There are few cities more charming and romantic than Paris. A vivid celebration of its iconic culture, history, food and fashionable arts and entertainment, this is arguably one of the best in the series. We highly recommend it. Click here to get Paris, Portrait of a City.
New York, Portrait of a City
Often said to be the world’s greatest city, any New Yorker will tell you the best part of traveling is coming home to the city. This glimpse into the city that never sleeps shows a bustling metropolis of gritty romanticism and alluring mystique. The Los Angeles chapter in the series is often regarded as the best in the American collection, but we suggest this one, and we think you’ll love it. Click here to get New York, Portrait of a City.
Part of Phaidon’s series on art’s masters, this gorgeously illustrated monograph on Rembrandt is a must-have for the contemporary art aficionado. It really is one of the most beautiful coffee table books we’ve seen. Click here to get Rembrandt for your coffee table.
The French Riviera in the 1920s
A look into the legendary tales of the world’s most renowned writers and artists as they are caught between a desire for creation, the quest for happiness, and the looming darkness of the Holocaust. A beautiful testament to one of the world’s most cherished retreats and most inspirational getaways. Click here to get The French Riviera in the 1920s.
100 Interiors Around the World
A quintessential coffee table book; decorating enthusiasts and designers will cherish this compendium of exceptional and inspiring interiors from the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. A look into all styles, this is one book you won’t be able to put down. Click here to get 100 Interiors Around The World.
The Architect’s Home
Tucked between two world wars, Germany’s Bauhaus school of art and design changed the face of the modern world in just 14 years. A celebrated style we often discuss at Gentleman’s Gazette, this incredible book will give you a glimpse into the history and reasoning behind the design. Click here to get Bauhaus.
Inside Chef’s Fridges
A look into the inner sanctum of Europe’s most celebrated and iconic chefs. This book opens the doors of some of the world’s top chefs and gives the reader insight into how these men and women bring haute cuisine home. A book worthy of the coffee table for any professional chef or culinarian’s home. Click here to get Inside Chef’s Fridges.
Originally intended to be a dependable companion for any discerning visitor to the city of lights and love, Taschen’s Paris has become a collectible for men and women who want a glimpse into the most beautiful hotels, shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars in one of the world’s most romantic cities. Click here to get Taschen’s Paris.
Food & Life
Technically a cook book, this beautifully illustrated book is a detailed exploration of the impact food has on our lives and why it has become more than just a necessity of survival and is considered a passion by so many around the world. Click here to get Food & Life.
One of the most treasured people in the world, this inside look into the personal and professional life of Queen Elizabeth II is a beautiful anthology of one of the most interesting people in our world. A perfect way to celebrate her birthday at home and pay homage to the world’s most elegant and globally respected leader. Click here to get Her Majesty.
Dressing The Man
Allan Flusser is arguably one of the foremost experts on men’s fashion and style. This book is one that all Gentleman’s Gazette editors have in their collection and one we often pick up when inspiration is needed for an article. No book has been featured in more of our gift guides or lists than Dressing the Man, and for good reason: it is incredible. Click here to get Dressing the Man, our favorite men’s style book and the one we recommend more than any other book ever published.
Norman Rockwell 332 Magazine Covers
Considered one of history’s most talented illustrators, Norman Rockwell was responsible for hundreds of magazine covers during his lifetime. This book pays tribute to the best of them and the most interesting art produced by one of the most iconic artists of our time. Click here to get Norman Rockwell 332 Magazine Covers.
National Geographic: The Photographs
When it was first published, this book topped the gift book lists around the world. There was no book more revered, and it was an instant best seller. Today, the beauty and inspiration of it is no less. It is, all things considered, one of the most charming and resplendent coffee table books ever published. Click here to get National Geographic: The Photographs.
On This Earth: Photographs from East Africa
Nick Brandt has long been known for his ability to photograph wild animals in intimate surroundings. This exquisite pictorial highlights some of his best work with some of the world’s most dangerous predators. The artistic prowess is phenomenal, and his ability to depict animals in their natural habitats at an arms length is what makes this wildlife book one worth owning. Get On This Earth: Photographs from East Africa here.
Top Publishers and Where to Buy Coffee Table Books
Coffee table books can range from around $10 to thousands of dollars for limited prints and special editions. There are a handful of publishers that specialize in beautiful books such as Taschen, Assouline, Phaidon and of course, Visionaire.
Perusing your local bookstore will certainly net you some wonderful options; however, consider buying direct from the publisher as you can often find the best price, whereas other resellers will jack up the price. It’s well worth shopping around.
A coffee table book is an expression of your home, your soul, and your desires. It should be inspiring, beautiful and a book that you can reopen again and again without ever being bored. What are your favorite coffee table books?