End of February Book Review by Manon Kavesky
Title: Collecting Costume Jewelry 202: The Basics of Dating Jewelry 1935-1980 Identification and Value Guide.
Author: Julia C. Carroll
Type of Book: Paperback, with sewn signatures! (This means a big book won't fall apart)
Average Price: $24.99
Brief Description of Book
This book is as thick as the September issue of Vogue magazine with almost 500 pages of information. The author guides the reader through the basics of dating a piece of jewelry. She uses a six-step process to sleuth out the approximate date of production. There are loads of photos and advertisements to help with dating. Costume Jewelry 202 may also be a "wish book" to keep you looking out for pieces that you just must have!
Quantity of Illustrations:
There are more than 1300 total illustrations in Collecting Costume Jewelry 202. There are 650 new color photographs, 160 original advertisements in color and black and white, 550 patent illustrations and 4000 patent design numbers.
Comments: A very substantial reference book
Quality of Illustrations:
B/w and color illustrations:
Original vintage advertisements are reproduced in black and white or color depending on the advertisement. The author has reproduced the text of the advertisements so that you can actually read the ad copy that accompanies the pictures. The patent sketches are black and white line drawings.
The new photos are very good I don't think I saw a fuzzy image in this book!
Close ups of the marks? None, There is an appendix that describes the marks but no photos or drawings of maker's marks
Comments: The photos are good and show the pieces clearly. There is only one photo of a piece therefore there are no details or views of the back construction. The photos are not arty or distracting the focus is on the piece of jewelry. The backgrounds are a consistent white color. There could have been darker backgrounds to make some of the colors "pop".
Quantity of Information
Range of Information offered:
The author's "Six Methods for Dating Costume Jewelry" in the beginning of the book is well written and easy to follow. It will help a reader narrow down the date a piece was produced.
The methods are:
? Maker's mark
? Vintage advertisements
? Style or design
? Reference materials books and internet
? And finally dating jewelry by provenance
Is the information thorough?
The majority of the book is devoted to Coro and Trifari 172 pages out of almost 500. So, it would seem as if the Coro and Trifari part are thorough. There are 125 additional makers included. There sections are from a few paragraphs to a few pages. I believe all of the makers in this book are American.
Quality of Information:
Accuracy (Mistakes?) The information seems to be correct, but I am not so much of an expert that I could spot anything more than the most glaring mistake. I do not feel qualified to give an opinion on this section.
Values Listed (Prices) Yes
Are they helpful or realistic?
The prices are based on what one might hope to get in an e-bay auction.
Comments: Based on the prices sometimes I want to be buying and other times I want to be on the selling end of the transaction.
Is the book easy to read and follow? yes
Is there a table of contents and index? yes
Is information easy to find? yes
Comments: Nothing like a good index to make this reader/reviewer happy. It costs the publisher money to index the materials but in a 500-page book this feature is essential.
Average score 8.6
Is this book a must have? Yes
Collecting Costume Jewelry 202 is a useful and interesting book. I have had it a week and I have opened it up and used it every day for something. $25.00 well spent.
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