At the March 28-29 edition of the Atlantique City Antiques Show, at the end of the Saturday appraisal event, I had the pleasure of announcing to showgoers that Krause Books, Antique Trader and the show itself were throwing a party for Ellen Schroy, the longtime editor of Warman’s Antique and Collectibles Price Guide.
The sad news was that the party was to mark the end of Ellen’s tenure at the helm of Warman’s, after 28 years that saw the book go from barely more than a pamphlet to a 1,000 page volume.
It does not, however, mean that Ellen will not continue to contribute to the Warman’s imprint. In fact, it will allow her to focus more on specialty areas, something that the big guide has kept her from doing.
Ellen and Krause Books Publisher Diane Wheeler.
Ellen is a true veteran of the antiques business, and one of the most knowledgable generalists in the entire business. I said it at the show, and I say it again now: Ellen Schroy has forgotten more about antiques than any 100 of us could collectively ever know.
Speaking on a personal level, having had the pleasure of working with Ellen for the last two Atlantique City Antiques Show appraisal events – where Ellen appraises and I am lucky enough to watch as emcee – I can say that she is a class act, a lovely lady and one of the nicest folks you’re likely to encounter in this business.
I know that I can speak for everyone here at F+W Publications – magazines, books, shows and new media alike – when I thank Ellen for her hard work on the price guide all these years, and say that I look forward to seeing the future titles with her name on them.
Here’s the short version of Warman’s history from Ellen herself:
First published in 1948 by Edwin G. Warman, the little 51/4-inch by 6-3/4 inch edition was first published as a bi-annual. Mr. Warman also published several specialized guides, such as Oddities and Curiosities, a cut glass price guide, etc.
Upon Edwin’s untimely death in 1979, his widow Pat tried to continue on for an edition or two. Her last edition was the 15th edition. The estate sold the E. G. Warman Publishing Company to Stanley and Katherine Greene of Elkins Park in 1981. Mr. and Mrs. Greene hired Harry L. Rinker who created a board of advisors for the 16th edition. Needing more editoral assistants, Harry hired Doris Ford and me, who job-shared, with each gal working three days per week, with our names appearing for the first time in the 17th edition. Each and every price was researched, written on 3-inch by 5-inch cards, which were coded so we knew exactly where that price came from. Photographs were taken in the fields at flea markets, antique shows, private collections. A detailed listing of reference books pertaining to each topic were kept so that the information could be included in each edition.
In 1984, under the care of Stanley and Katherine, Warman’s Americana & Collectibles was launched.
In 1989, Chilton Books acquired the Warman Publishing Company and begain to print Warman’s under their Wallace-Homestead imprint, starting with the 24th edition. Again, new titles were added, such as Warman’s Paper, Warman’s Glass, Warman’s American Pottery & Porcelain, etc.
Rinker turned the reins over to Ellen at the 30th edition and shortly thereafter ABC bought Chilton books, they sold off the imprints to Krause.