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The Antiques Magpie: A Fascinating Compendium of Absorbing History, Stories, Facts and Anecdotes from the World of Antiques [Hardcover]

Marc Allum
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: £12.99
Price: £10.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 Sep 2013
From the mythical artefacts of the ancient world to saucy seaside postcards, The Antiques Magpie explores the wonderful world of antiques and collectables. With Antiques Roadshow regular Marc Allum as your guide, go in search of stolen masterpieces, explore the first museums, learn the secrets of the forgers and brush up on your auction technique. Meet the garden gnome insured for GBP1 million, track down Napoleon's toothbrush, find out how to spot a corpse in a Victorian photograph - and much more. This book is for anyone who's ever been fascinated by what relics of the past tell us about history - and what they are worth today.

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The Antiques Magpie: A Fascinating Compendium of Absorbing History, Stories, Facts and Anecdotes from the World of Antiques + Miller's Antiques Encyclopedia + Miller's Antiques Handbook & Price Guide 2014-2015
Price For All Three: £67.59

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books Ltd; 1st edition (5 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848316038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848316034
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 2.4 x 20.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 288,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marc Allum is a freelance art and antiques writer, broadcaster, consultant and lecturer based in Wiltshire. He has been a miscellaneous specialist on the BBC Antiques Roadshow since 1998 and has appeared on several other television and radio programmes. Marc spent 16 years as a London-based auctioneer and has written and contributed to numerous books. He writes regularly for magazines and has monthly columns in Period Living Magazine, BBC Antiques Roadshow Magazine and Wiltshire Life. He also has a passion for playing the bass guitar and tinkering with large engines!

'The Antiques Magpie' will shortly be available in Japanese!

Marc's new book, 'Allum's Antiques Almanac' will be launched in London on November 7th. The official publishing date is November 12th. Marc will be travelling the country doing a series of lectures and talks about his new 'time sensitive' almanac-style offering, which will be published annually and continue to draw on his personal and eclectic experiences in the world of art, antiques and television.

Product Description


'A delightful nest of insights from a professional who knows the game and can weave it into words.' -- Philip Mould 'An amusing romp through some of the most coveted antiques. Full of facts and surprising anecdotes, it's a compelling read that should raise a smile from both the enthusiastic amateur and the seasoned collector.' House & Garden 'Not only a very useful overall guide for collectors ... and a source of unlikely information, but a laugh a page. A perfect present for virtually everyone.' Country Life 'The perfect gift for all collectors' Choice Magazine

About the Author

Marc Allum is a freelance art and antiques writer and consultant based in Wiltshire. Marc has been a miscellaneous specialist on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow programme since 1998.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An unusual take on the traditional formats reserved for antiques books. Well written and entertaining with an interesting mix of facts, history and personal anecdotes. Perfect for keeping by the bedside for dipping into (no pun intended!) and an excellent Christmas stocking filler. Highly recommended for anyone and not just the antiques enthusiast.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual but entertaining 17 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
As per the title, a compendium of fascinating facts and stories about subjects, from the seaside art of Donald McGill, the retro-cool Tretchikoff, to Faberge eggs, unicorn horns and the excavation of Troy. There are some illustrations and photos, but more would have been welcome.

For those wanting more traditional antiques information, there are many useful facts amongst the stories, such as a list of Monarchs (to identify style), a brief guide to periods and styles, information on the varying shapes of Grecian urns, gold purity, diamonds, and much more besides.

A truly eclectic book, which would appeal to most people.

Reviewed in exchange for a preview Kindle copy.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read ! 6 Sep 2013
Just got this and couldn't put it down, full of funny anecdotes very weird and wonderful trivia and facts about antiques and collecting plus the odd ghost story !! Never knew quite how many ism's there were

Very very enjoyable read and loved it immensely. Am going to get some more copies as presents for my friends.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 27 Oct 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
interesting reading
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not that much info 18 April 2014
By Arthur
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I had the impression that I was going to get a lot of info in a small space, but, for example, the 3-page chapterlet on 'Decoding art' is about the hidden messages and symbolism in fine art, which the author admits are too numerous to cover in such a limited space. The representative examples he chooses are laurel wreaths for success, scales for justice, a very brief commentary on Hogarth's 'Gin Lane', blue as a symbol of purity, black and white as evil and good, an ape as the base nature of man, possessions as symbols of a person's achievements, a skull as death, a pool of water and an overflowing urn as fertility and abundance, and finally a broken pitcher as loss of innocence. Did I really need this book to tell me black represents evil and white good? The chapter on comic books lists the most expensive comics in general (10 examples) and for Beano (1 example), a very brief description of how comics are graded and then sealed permanently so that they can never be read again, and a bit of trivia on a man who looks for magazine extras, which can more than double the value of an issue if sold in conjunction with it. First issues (the above 11 highest sellers) are something the average person will never stumble upon and no info is given on how to look for these magazine extras oneself or how to sell them if does find one and does not have the magazine (should one buy the magazine and resell both together or just find a person with the magazine and sell him the extra for a fraction of the added value, or maybe just put them aside in a special box for the grandchildren). Thus while the chapterlet on comic books might be interesting, it has almost no practical information. This low level of info happens all too much for my liking.
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