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Judith Miller began collecting in the 1960s while a student at Edinburgh University in Scotland. She has since extended and reinforced her knowledge of antiques and design through international research, becoming one of the world's leading experts in the field. In 1979 she co-founded the international bestseller Miller's Antiques Price Guide and has since written more than 100 books, which are held in high regard by collectors and dealers. Judith Miller appears regularly on TV and radio. She is an expert on the BBC's "Antiques Roadshow" and co-hosts the popular BBC TV series "The House Detectives," "ITV's "Antiques Trail," and Discovery's "It's Your Bid." She has appeared on "The Martha Stewart Show" and CNN. She is a regular lecturer and contributor to numerous newspapers and magazines, including Financial Times, BBC Homes & Antiques and House & Garden. She has lectured extensively, including at the V&A in London and the Smithsonian in Washington.
"Costume Jewelry," a DK Collector's Guide, is by Judith Miller with John Wainwright, and features photography by Graham Rae. The back cover notes that over 1,500 collectible pieces are pictured and profiled in this book. This book is stunningly beautiful--it's full of detailed, full-color photographs that are accompanied by a well-written and informative text. Many different types of jewelry are depicted in these 256 pages--earrings, necklaces, bracelets, cufflinks, pins, etc.The book is full of fascinating and useful features: profiles of major designers (Chanel, Christian Dior, Hattie Carnegie, etc.), a glossary, a section depicting designers' stamps and copyright marks, reproductions of vintage magazine advertisements, and more. The international directory of dealers, auction houses, and museums includes addresses, phone numbers, Web sites, fax numbers, and/or e-mail addresses. There are sections highlighting interesting trends: suffragette jewelry, cut steel jewelry, etc.The book is full of intriguing sidebars about many different topics: the manufacture of faux pearls, the Surrealist influence on designer Elsa Schiaparelli, etc. There are also a number of spreads on "Hot Collecting Fields," such as Austrian crystal fruit pins and Bakelite jewelry; I was especially impressed by the 4-page spread on Scottish agate jewelry.The book really covers a broad range of costume jewelry. Many different styles are depicted. The jewelry covered also represents a large range of materials--Berlin ironwork, Whitby jet, rhinestones, aluminum, poured glass, Lucite, rhodoid, copper, wood, faux coral, and more. I also like the fact that a broad price range is covered. There are many pieces that are under $50, as well as many that are over $1,000.Read more ›
I love this book, it has some of the best photographs of jewelry to come out in years. If I could look at only one vintage costume jewelry book for an entire year, THIS would be it. There are tons of photographs of jewelry across the price spectrum, and at least a little bit of information about a lot of designers and companies. There are a few errors, such as some of the Bakelite she has pictured is actually Lucite or plastic, and some of the plastic and Lucite she has pictured is Bakelite. And while some of the pricing is exactly in line with what you would expect to fairly pay, some of the values are outrageous. But in a book this big, it can't all be perfect. This is the best book for new collectors, as it hits all the "big" names, doesn't gloss over the "little" names, and covers so much. It is also a great book for long time collectors. I have collected vintage costume jewelry for over 15 years, and I have over 50 cj books in my reference library; believe me when I say this book is wonderful eye candy.
A beautiful book that covers an exaustive list of designers/makers. It's great for quick reference of designer bios and their notable pieces, or simply for enjoying the high quality photos. However, I find this book inadequate in terms of in-depth information on period/designer indentification based on material, craftmanship or markings. As a relatively new collector of vintage jewelry, I find it a good place to start, but it's by no means an all-in-one type of reference book.
This book was one of my first books on costume jewelry, and it is so easy to learn from. I know, because I have an online vintage jewelry site, "Enchantment Vintage Costume Jewelry" and I still reference this book frequently.
The best thing about this book, besides the clear & colorful eye candy, is that it gives a rundown on different jewelry eras--from Victorian through 1980s glitz! There are aslo sections on a great many of the most collectible designers and the characteristics of their jewelry. It also includes a section on unsigned jewelry, which is good because most costume jewelry was unsigned.
One of the most helpful aspects is that the jewelry is dated, so that the reader can learn to start assigning dates to the different styles of jewelry. You can't go wrong with this one.
I also recommend "How to Be a Jewelry Detective," by Jeanenne Bell.
This lavishly illustrated book is an excellent example of why many librarians love Dorling Kindersley books. Each photographed piece has a brief description, date range and likely value range. The colors are vibrant and every facet sparkles. The background on jewelry designers and index are also welcome additions.
"Costume Jewelry" is a full-colour pictorial guide to the main (American) makers and designers of costume jewellery. For each designer, a brief history is given, which is them followed by numerous colour pictures and 2003 values. A brief appendix of makers marks is included at the end, to allow readers to identify pieces of jewellery which they may own, as is a comprehensive index.
This book is aimed squarely at novice jewellery collectors. It gives the reader a good idea of the different styles of costume jewellery available and is a wonderful book for fueling dreams. However, it lacks much of the information that more advanced collectors may be looking for, such as detailed information on dating jewellery and advice on which are the best pieces to collect.