Writing Antiques, George Mell, 32 pages, softcover, $11.95 plus shipping from Shire Publications Ltd. Reprinted 2010, ISBN: 978-0-85263-519-3, www.shirebooks.co.uk.
“Writing Antiques” is the latest in a series of reprints (in the Shire Classics line) of a manuscript originally published in 1980, signifying the popularity of this genre of antiques and the demand for information on it. The book is just as relevant today as it was 30 years ago, as the development of writing instruments and accessories hasn’t changed in the last three decades.
“Writing Antiques” starts off with a brief introduction of the development of writing, and quickly flows into the bits and pieces that make writing possible, including chapters on (but not limited to) pens and nibs, ink and the various ink containers, pencils, writing accessories and writing desks. The text includes discussions on the writing antiques and how they functioned.
Though it is a small volume at 32 pages, it is filled with large black and white images of a wide variety of writing antiques, but being a reprint of a 1980 volume, the images are and sometimes dark and dated.
“Writing Antiques” is a good introduction to anyone who may have a passing interest in antique writing instruments and accessories. It will aid in item identification and context. However, as no pricing information is included, that data will have to be searched out elsewhere; which should be easy, given the availability of resources on the Internet, once you know what phrase you should search for.
The author, the late George Mell, was an expert on antiques and collecting, who not only wrote articles on antiques and collecting, but also was an adult education lecturer and a contributor to several specialist magazines and journals.
The book also includes lists for further reading and places to visit in the U.K., should you decide you have more than just a passing fancy. ?
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