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The Bulfinch Illustrated Encyclopedia of Antiques Paperback – April 1, 1998
The Amazon Book Review
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The Bulfinch Illustrated Encyclopedia of Antiques is an exhaustive resource for those wishing to understand the distinctions of fine antique furniture and accessories. Laid out in a clear, easy-to-use format with color photographs, the book blends the right amount of history, description and crafting techniques for pottery and porcelain, glass, silver, furniture, clocks, and oriental wares. It also goes into welcome detail of style and manufacturer distinctions, including illustrations of table legs, drawer handles, silverware hallmarks, and porcelain marks. Though the book lacks coverage for lower-end collectibles, it includes a useful glossary and informative timelines for novices. The occasional auction house shopper who needs to be able to determine the difference between a late Georgian side table and a George III satinwood card table will find what they need here.
Where the Bulfinch Encyclopedia really shines is in its item histories. For instance, note the birth of the vinaigrette: "In the late 1600s, in an attempt by men and women of quality to combat the stench of filthy streets and open sewers, vinaigrettes were introduced. These were small containers "in which a small piece of sponge soaked in spiced vinegar was kept behind a pierced cover" Overall, this encyclopedia is an excellent resource for high-end collectors and admirers of the history of European, American, and Asian antiques.--Karen Karleski
From Library Journal
This survey covers just six antique specialties: ceramics, furniture, glassware, silver, clocks and watches, and Oriental ware (a subject that is seldom documented well in Western decorative arts literature). The clear, well-written text includes time charts, descriptions of how the items were made, historical data, hallmarks and other distinguishing features, and the names of important artists working in that discipline. Also included are more than 1000 color photos of notable examples. All are well captioned and are drawn from Christie's and Sotheby's photo archives; indeed, both editors are former affiliates of those auction houses. The index could have been more comprehensive, but the 12-page glossary (with citations to the text) is a boon. While this book might seem superficial to larger art libraries with strong collections in this field, it remains an important purchase for most libraries-especially those without the capital to invest in the individual works covered in this text.
Margarete Gross, Chicago P.L.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.