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Silverware of the 20th Century: The Top 250 Patterns Paperback – November 25, 1997
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From the Publisher
This book, the third in a series that included books on dinnerware and stemware, got the biggest reaction -- looking over the pattern photographs, we all found patterns we remembered. Either our mothers or our grandmothers, an aunt or a cousin, had used this pattern or that one -- I found my mother's pattern in the book! I'll bet the pattern photos will generate similar reactions for readers. I guess we spend more time looking at our knives and forks and spoons than we realize.
-- Randy Ladenheim-Gil, Editor, House of Collectibles
From the Inside Flap
A LAVISH FIRST-EVER PICTORIAL TOUR OF THE TOP 250 SILVERWARE PATTERNS OF THE 20TH CENTURY
Lovers of fine flatware look no further! From elegant Tiffany to the affordable International Silver, this sumptuous volume highlights a vast selection of sterling, silver-plated, and stainless designs. Beautifully illustrated throughout with digitally reproduced photographs, Silverware of the 20th Century is arranged alphabetically--first by silverware manufacturer and then by pattern name. Combined with short histories of each manufacturer, listings of every known piece with current suggested retail market price, date information on when the piece was introduced and/or discontinued, and an appendix that ranks the top 250 patterns, this cherished volume will earn a place at any setting!
Highlights include feature stories on manufacturers and decorating, expert advice on displaying and caring for your collection, behind-the-style looks at particular patterns, and much more!
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Top Customer Reviews
The best feature in this book is that the measurements of many flatware pieces are listed. The introductory section is also informative for those not familiar with flatware. Histories of today's manufacturers are also comprehensive.
However, the book is so poorly organized that it makes for a difficult read, and very difficult to use as a reference book.
Also, the photographs are so small, you will need a magnifying glass to distinguish between even barely similar patterns. There are much better books on silverware available.
I purchased this book as another reference in my rather extensive personal library of kitchen silverware literature. Although I do not regret my investment, I do have a few qualms regarding the product for which this review is intended. I will now cut to the chase (pun not intended):
Although silverware usage and collecting are quite commonplace in today's modern society, there is surprisingly very little literature regarding its photography and cataloging. My colossal bitterness regarding this great injustice and deplorable disregard of cutlery, however, is not the subject of this review and so I will continue. It is quite difficult to find a book that catalogs silverware to the great precision that "Silverware of the 20th Century" does. Most books on the subject simply offer an unsorted list of silverware with the occasional tasteless photograph of an underwhelming butter knife or soup spoon. "Silverware of the 20th Century" avoids these common mistakes by taking a systematic approach to its cataloging. The first novel approach to win my accolades was the listing of the silverware in alphabetical order by name, an elegant concept only rivaled by its amazing simplicity. If that was not enough, the brilliant author Rinker somehow managed to list the silverware in alphabetical order by pattern as well. At first this may not seem like such a feat, but think of it this way: There are 250 different sets of silverware in the book. It likely took a (conservative) 3 hours per set to give a name of the pattern and then to alphabetize the name. 250 sets x 3 hours per set = 750 man hours of alphabetizing. That's close to ten and a half days of brute research and rote computer spreadsheet work. All for a task that would likely go unnoticed by the neophyte silverware enthusiast. It is attention to detail like this that will garner the book a spot on the New York Times Bestseller List and in the hearts of people everywhere.
My main concern with this book and the reason why I did not give it 5 stars is its failure to catalog a comprehensive list of silverware. 250 different patterns may seem overwhelming, but this pales in comparison to the delightful page-turner, "Silverplated flatware" by Tere Hagan. Hagan manages to list over 1,600 different patterns and does so in a sparse 376 pages. It is a book of that caliber that transcends the "bestseller list" and explodes into the mind of the reader like a supernova of dinnerware awesomeness.
It just a rehash of the 20 most popular patterns, which any other book may include. I wish I could return it, but I bought it from a dealer not amazon.
No smells, rips or tears and just over all nice and clean.
Hate that Amazon will not allow combining on shipping. I guess their cut of the money, helps keep them in business.
But the Book company did a great job describing and shipping my items to me. I would purchase from them again.