Top critical review
39 people found this helpful
Title is a bit deceptive since book is not about "laying the..."
on January 28, 2007
The title of this book ("Laying the elegant table: china...etc") is deceptive, since the book is not really about "LAYING THE ELEGANT TABLE" as stated right at the top of this very expensive book.
Rather, this book is like a history book about china & serving pieces with detailed line drawings showing some rare serving pieces. Historical.
Now, I have no problem with history books about china pieces & patterns, but the problem is that the title of this book would make a reader believe that this book is filled with page after page of table settings, layed out for special occasions, or for everyday occasions, etc. (eg: similar to the Carolyne Roheme books on setting a table, since Carolyne uses lots of Majolica,Faience,tureens and elaborate silver pieces throughout her books).
In this book being reviewed, there are indeed some pretty colored photos. The colored photos that are included in this book are very lovely indeed as others stated, but most of the accessories and china pieces are line drawings. Once again, I have to say that the title of this book is along the lines of "setting the elegant table", NOT "a guide book to china patterns". So this is why I've stated that the TITLE of this book is deceptive, NOT the information.
(Information = good; Title = deceptive)
As most people looking at this book on Amazon will notice, there is not a "click/tab" feature allowing the potential readers to browse through this book (known as: "LOOK INSIDE"). Thus, if you are like me, you must first of all buy this very expensive book ...sight unseen, before realizing,once the book has arrived, that this book is NOT about "laying a table setting", but instead, this book is actually a "guide" to china patterns & pieces . In other words, this is not a "how to book", as the title might make a person believe.
Once again, the colored photos in this book are nice, and the descriptions to all the black and white line drawings seem to be accurate . No complaint there.
Therefore, if a person is looking for a "guide" to some rare and interesting china patterns and pieces, then this book will be of interest, (if you don't mind paying the price, since I could not find this book in any Libraries). Please note though that not ALL china patterns are in this book, or this book would have to be a 10 volume encyclopedia! Instead, the author chose to show a variety of china pieces (eg: special patterns, such as, some French Faience styles, some Majolicas , etc).......Heavy on the French Faience.
The average person will not probably ever personally come across many china patterns in this book, as they are hundreds of years old and extinct. A Museum might be the only place where the rarest antique china patterns and pieces (from this book) would ever be seen. Once again, from an historical perspective, this book is like a history book about old china patterns and china pieces, illustrated mostly in B&W line drawings (the B&W line drawings being very detailed). But if the reader is looking for a book on how to set a table or how to display china pieces on a modern table, then there are other books issued on that theme.