Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Random House Reference; 1st edition (October 21, 1989)
Product Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 2 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,156,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #118 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Precious Metals #125285 in Books > Arts & Photography
This is probably the most widely used book on the market for American silver makers/marks; it has thousands of makers with their locations, dates, and for about half of them their marks. There are initial guides at the beginning of each letter's section (these are incomplete, but at least make a start), and simple drawings showing chronological changes in styles for several silver forms (these are problematic, but do at least give a simple framework for beginners). Many dealers use it regularly to identify their pieces.That's the good; what's the bad? It's chock full of mistakes, of several sorts. The information was mostly compiled from other publications with minimal cross-checking, and has both mistakes from the sources and mistakes of copying over. Dates are a hodge-podge of working dates and life dates, some incomplete, some quite likely just made up by guesswork - but with no indication whether a given one is good or not. The most serious flaw is that this edition replaced the sometimes poor (but sometimes good) hand-drawn marks of the previous edition with typeset versions - so there's no chance at all of comparing different makers' similar marks. This is especially important with the (usually earlier) initial marks. I have a friend who corrects all the mistakes he finds in his copy - there are about as many corrections as there are entries!Serious collectors and dealers will have the six or so shelf-feet of original publications to check such information, and the knowledge to evaluate the different and sometimes conflicting data. I will often carry a copy of this in my backpack when going to shows, knowing that I can interpret from it and using it as a convenient "pocket" reference.
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