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Warman's Antiques & Collectibles 2012

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating


Want a big book filled with lots of great pictures of antiques and collectibles? This might be the book for you.

But that being said, I have mixed feelings about this book. When I purchase a price guide I want more than feeling I am looking at pages taken from an assortment of auction catalogs.

Some chapters are very good and some are . . . .

Not so good.

Warman's Antiques & Collectibles 2012 reminds me of a coffee table book with a soft cover. The pictures are amazing, it appears many are supplied by auction houses with the actual price realized. Unfortunately there's not a lot of words. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, there are several sections that include good information by well respected writers in the field. But overall, not enough for me.

No one knows better than I do how hard it is to cover the collecting field as a whole, but I expected a little more from a Warman's book.

Photography and Space

I was impressed with the Photography chapter that includes a lengthy section on Snapshot Collecting. There are numerous resources and lots of information for would-be collectors. The photography chapter continues on with several pages of text prices with a few images sprinkled in. Meanwhile the chapter continues with cameras as a sub-chapter. This section had only FIVE pictures of cameras with accompanying descriptive text and price. Nothing else. Why not touch a little more upon cameras than just five pictures?

Space Memorabilia
The space chapter has a nice introduction with the ins and outs of collecting Space Memorabilia by Noah Fleisher. It's a field that has always been fascinating and Fleisher gives a lot of good information for those who might want to start looking for and collecting space memorabilia.

The Future of the Market

The best part of the book are the subjects covered under the "Future of the Market" heading.

Several writers contributed to these chapters sprinkled throughout the book. Catherine Saunder-Watson touched upon Mechanical Banks and Antique Toys. Lots of tips and thoughts for both would-be collectors, as well as established collectors.

The Door of Hope Dolls history by Andrew Truman was an interesting and captivating read. It made me want to learn more about these dolls.

Forrest Poston explores the West German Art Pottery market and Andrew Myers writes about 18th and 19th-century French furniture.

Bottom Line

As mentioned above, the photographs are amazing, the layout is also incredible and the book is huge at 798 pages. But is it a coffee table book or a guide to antiques and collectibles? I'm not sure what the publishers are trying to accomplish with this particular book.

There's a bit of inconsistency with the way the topics are covered. Some might have a sentence of explanation, others will have a few paragraphs about the collectible, and a select few get a long article of explanation. Then there are a few topics that don't even have a sentence of introduction about the antique or collectible except for the text accompanying a picture. Just a chapter heading and pictures.

Warman's Antiques & Collectibles tries to cover so much from coins to antique french furniture, that it's hard to do them all justice.

The biggest problem I have -- this is not a book I would take along to a flea market or even reach for when I want to find out or research a specific collectible. Not much that a few less chapters and a little more introductory text wouldn't cure.

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