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July Book Review by Manon Kavesky
Author: Leigh Leshner
Type of Book: Paperback
Retail Price: $24.95
Krause Publications 2008
Brief Description of Book:
Warman's Vintage Jewelry: Identification and Price guide focuses on rhinestone jewelry of the 1920s - 1940s. The book sets out to answer 4 questions.
1.What is a piece of jewelry made of?
2.The history behind the pieces of this time period?
3.Age of a piece?
4.And the most common question of all, what is it worth?
The photos on the cover represent the content accurately, white metal, rhinestones, pearls, some colored stones and very ìreal lookingî pieces. Warmanís Vintage Jewelry includes short chapters on collecting, history, care of your rhinestone jewelry and information on settings, cuts and shapes. The bulk of the chapters are photographs of rings, bracelets etc. Each jewelry photo has a short caption describing the pieces and prices of every piece. Many of the pieces are unsigned which is not unusual for the time period covered by this book. Unsigned pieces assist the reader in establishing a ballpark price range for the pieces they actually have.
Quantity of Illustrations: Lots, the press release says there are 800 photos of 1000 pieces of jewelry.
Comments: A good selection of pieces from a very collectible window in time.
Quality of Illustrations: All color photos. All are very clear, clean and professional. The author Leigh Leshner credits and congratulates Maurice Childs, the photographer and he does deserve a pat on the back. The 800 photos are all new photography. Most of the items are shot against black backgrounds that work well because most of the pieces are heavy with rhinestones and set in white metal. The photos are close enough to show detail, and wear. I always wish that there were photos of the backs of pieces and this book does include a few most notably 3 pages in the Ring section
Quantity of Information: The introductory 20 pages cover topics that most readers have seen before: Care, Stone Shapes etc. nothing new here. But the text is presented clearly and the photography illustrates the points made quite nicely.
Is the information thorough? Yes
Quality of Information: Good
Comments: Each photograph has a short caption and price. The captions could benefit from measurements because it is impossible to determine how big any of the pieces actually are. It is difficult to compare the piece you hold in your hand to a photograph if you donít know if it is a tiny scatter pin or a huge coat pin. Photos of the reverse of pieces would be helpful too.
Values Listed (Prices) Yes
Are they helpful or realistic? I think they are helpful and realistic but a lot depends on where and how one buys and sells costume jewelry.
Comments: This must be hard to do and I am glad it is not my job. The prices seem to reflect the high end of the market for many pieces.
Is the book easy to read and follow? Yes there isnít much to read most of it is visual.
There is a table of contents, which is broken into common categories: rings bracelets etc. and no index.
Is information easy to find? Most of the information is visual so yes it is easy to find
Average score: Almost 8
Is this book a must have? Yes
Overall comments: I liked Warmanís Vintage Jewelry from the minute I took it out of the mailing envelope. The photos are really good and the prices seem accurate. So now I am going to mark all the items on my sites up and see if the prices are actually attainable.
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