Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (October 11, 1994)
Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8 x 9.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #790,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #60 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Houseware & Dining > Kitchenware
This is a fabulous photo, caption, and appendix compendium for people interested in the many varieties of flatware designed for specific use. Of particular interest to me are the double-page spreads illustrating the different kinds of forks, spoons, and knives, so that one can get a sense of relative size and shape. The down side (yes, I know this would be an up side for some readers) is that the book is cluttered with recipes, making it hard to find information relating to the cutlery. I'd be much happier the food photos run with just captions, amidst appendix material used as body text, with an appendix of recipes, than the other way round. If I want to buy a cookbook, I'll buy a cookbook.
One of the first pages I looked at when I received the book showed three spoons; the authors said they were 1860s English spoons. They weren't English or 1860s. Two of them were Wallace Silversmiths Lucerne, first made in 1896. I own some pieces in that pattern, so I recognized it immediately.The middle one, whose pattern I'm not sure about, was upside down and had "Sterling" stamped on the back - English flatware doesn't have the word "sterling" on it (the English use a lion passant). I mean, really. Not a very inspiring start.
Very limited utility and reliability as a reference tool. Appalling mis-labeled example of a dessert spoon -- shown as being larger than the adjacent table spoon. Some clever photos (flatware standing in sand in a garden urn) but basic image recycled excessively to maintain first use appeal. Notion that proliferation of table pieces stems from Imperial Britain is not well founded -- America had far, far more table silver pattern variations than Britain.
This is the 3rd copy of this charming book I have bought over the past few years.This last was for a customer who adores buying old flatware but often can't identify what it was used for. She was delighted. The photographs are excellent and reflect the author's love of the subject. It is easy to find the sardine fork or potato fork you are looking for and the recipes are an added bonus.
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