End December Book Review by Adrienne Shivers
Title: American Costume Jewelry 1935-1950
Author: Carla Gnelli Brunialti & Roberto Brunialti
General description: Book focuses specifically on Ameircan costume jewelry, materials used, patents and then covers 17 different designers.
This review will cover several categories and will include a rating for that category 1-10, 1 being 'forget it, 10 being 'must have'. There will also be a short comment about each category and then a general review at the end.
QUANTITY of PICTURES:
Comments: The book is mostly pictures, both of the item and copies of it's patent. The strength of this book is in it's pictures, a lot of not to be seen elsewhere pieces.
QUALITY of PICTURES:
Pictures are all large and in color but no backs, no marks with the pieces. Description of the mark is given, but pictures of it not shown
QUANTITY of INFORMATION
Comments: Lots of info.....if you speak Italian. The entire book is written in Italian. You can get the gist of a lot without translation, mostly the description. The more detailed text requires knowing the language or translation
QUALITY of INFORMATION
Comments: There ARE errors, a couple of the rare pieces pictured are fakes. However, the Brunialtis have unearthed new info as well.
Comments: Values are not given, instead, pieces are rated in terms of desirability and collectibility using a 5* system. Not particularly useful and very out of date
Comments: All the designers are grouped together, so that's easy to follow
Total average rating: 7.25
Even though this book is in Italian, I consider it 'must have'. The jelly belly collection pictured is worth the price alone. The really rare pieces are pictured here and if you are serious about higher-end vintage costume, you need this book, just to see those pieces and what collectors are willing to pay high $$$ for and why. It's definitely more of a visual experience and you really see the artistry of vintage jewelry in its hey day.
There is a sequel book by the same authors, in English, which came out in 2002. Same format, covers event more designers with a special focus on patriotic theme jewelry. Even more desirable and certainly more current than the first. Titled "A Tribute to America - Costume Jewelry 1935-1950".
Both books were available from Marilyn Ostrow, owner of Terezi Vintage Jewelry. I thought I saw something on JC that these (or one of them) may no longer be available, or will not be for long, not sure. So, if you want one of both, you'll need to check with her. http://members.aol.com/TereziJ/index.html
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