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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Over a period of 30+ years the Miller's antiques and collectables publications have become the most popular and trusted definitive price guides of their type, and this latest `Miller's Antiques Handbook & Price Guide 2014-2015' reaches a peak of perfection. It is beautifully presented with thousands of superb illustrations of objects in full colour, neat informative text, and division into helpful sections with category headings to supplement an authoritative index. In addition to the wealth of advice and guidance on antiques and price ranges there numerous tips on valuing, dating and confirmation of provenance, with details of designers, consultants, specialists and auctioneers. Obviously this `Miller's Antiques Handbook & Price Guide 2014-2015' is not for reading from cover to cover but it is a marvellous reference book, and it is for the pleasure of dipping into. It is itself a `work of art' and it will take pride of place on any bookshelf - preferably a Georgian or Victorian sécretaire, bureau or breakfront bookcase.
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VINE VOICEon 25 September 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Wisden of the antique world Miller's Antiques Handbook seems to have been around forever so I got a bit of shock when I found out that it has only been published since 1979. I have perused a few earlier copies but the 2014-2015 edition is street ahead of it's predecessors.

Fractionally smaller than A4 the book runs to 648 pages and is extremely heavy! It is split into 24 logical divisions each one covering a particular genre of the antique business such as ceramics, clocks etc. In each section examples of items are given with pictures, description and valuation.Essential reference is given highlighting what to look for and how to spot fakes along with a closer look which points out why particular pieces are more desirable.

Although largely compiled and edited by Judith Miller contributions are also given by many more famous valuers, many of them familiar faces thanks to programmes such as the Antiques Roadshow.

Not a book that you would pick up and read from cover to cover but one that can be dipped into or consulted when the need arises. Very enjoyable, very well put together and much recommended.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As an auction house and jumble sale addict, I had always meant to get around to buying a copy of this, just to be sure I wasn't letting any little treasures slip through my fingers.

However, it turns out that this book isn't really for people like me. The vast majority of the pieces shown in the book are highly aspirational in nature. They are so obviously "worth something" that they won't turn up in bargain bins or even in small local auctions. Even allowing for that, I think many of the prices quoted in the book seem to be rather on the optimistically high side - comparing these prices with actual sales online suggests many are priced here well in excess of their actual worth.

I'm not very sure who the guide is aimed at. As mentioned earlier, it's not going to be very helpful for "accidental discoveries", and I would expect people who were dealing in big ticket items, such as those featured in the book, to already be in possession of most of the information provided. For my part, I would have been better served by Miller's Collectables (sic) Handbook, which seems to cover my area of interest a little better. This is no fault of this book, which is very nicely presented, on good heavy glossy paper, with clear text and pictures. A very good book, just not for me.
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VINE VOICEon 3 November 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It's not really too much of a surprise that a handbook like this would be focussed on more expensive antiques, and that's mostly the case here. There are some more inexpensive pieces in each category, but the main focus is on the well known names and more rare pieces. This seems pretty sensible given that cheaper pieces may well be bought purely for visual appeal rather than long-term value (although if like me you're looking at furnishing a period property and seeing what pieces might be affordable with genuine antique pieces rather than modern alternatives it's not so useful). The pictures are excellent, and show each piece clearly. There isn't too much time spent on pieces, just a brief note about each generally, so it's more of use for identifying which style or origin a piece appears to be rather than being sufficient for being certain about whether a piece is genuine. Given that the book aims to cover everything from pottery to furniture to glassware and more. The author has a solid reputation, so their estimates should pretty reliable.
So, in all, it's a great coffee table piece, and very reasonably priced for the size and print quality, with a good range of items covered. It won't make you an expert, but it will help you to identify styles that you like or pieces that are within your price range to decide which pieces to look out for and what price range to expect. This being the main aim of the book it gets 4 stars from me.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a beautifully produced, authoritative guide to antiques, including some more modern items. Each page carries a wealth of photographs of objects and information, including price guides and is a pleasure to browse in as well as being an excellent reference work.

The book is divided into categories and sub-categories (e.g. Scientific Instruments - Globes) for easy reference and has a comprehensive index. Each section begins with a review of the state of the market and Miller also features panels of "Judith Picks" with descriptions of items she finds especially interesting. I've found it very interesting and often extremely useful when sorting out old "junk" (sadly, usually to find out that what I was looking at isn't a real antique).

This is recognised as an authoritative guide to antiques and their prices and is also a lovely book to own and enjoy. Very warmly recommended.
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on 4 January 2014
Disappointed. I'm not sure exactly who this book is aimed at. Certainly not your average person who likes to browse antique shops or general collectors. More like rich people who are looking to invest in antiques. This is supposed to be 'the only price guide you will ever need'. Perhaps, if you are a high end antique dealer or a rich collector. At least 90% of the items shown are priced in the thousands and the other 10% probably the mid to high hundreds. Beginners stay away. Also the information is sparse and more useful to dealers in expensive antiques. This will probably preclude even your average town dealer as the prices in this book are so prohibitive. If you want a general guide to antiques that covers a range of prices and items then stay away from this book.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A wonderful book that really can't be faulted and a real eye-opener when you see some of the prices in these pages. If you have a pristine copy of 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' from the first run of only five hundred copies, you'll be £22,000 to £24,000 richer, or maybe you have a Chinese Yongle period cinnabar lacquer bottle vase gathering dust then accept nothing less than £65,000! I wonder if viewers of the Antiques Roadshow have a copy of this price guide to flip through and compare the printed price with the show's experts.

What I really like about the book is the very accessible editorial. Considering there are several thousand colour photos (all as cutouts) in 648 pages each has a thin strip of colour coding across the top and another reference strip in grey on the left and right side of each page plus a comprehensive index, all making finding something easy and efficient. I do have a very slight annoyance with the book: the handful of ads that appear throughout the book. Fortunately these are discretely placed on the relevant pages but I must say I didn't expect to see them

Judith Miller, in her Introduction, says that a new edition of the Antiques Encyclopedia complements this Price Guide and I think it's worth saying that both books are different though they both have the same visual format. The Encyclopedia looks at the subject in-depth and is less concerned with market selling trends.

This latest Guide continues the high standards one expects from Miller's books about antiques.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Miller's is the most accessible book to help us mere mortals study the wonders doing the rounds in the Antiques Trade. If you have an interest in buying or selling then you need to have a current copy of this book. We tend to buy one every couple of years, so I was delighted when Vine offered me this copy to review.

All categories of household collectables are covered. The layout is simple and easy to follow; the two Contents pages list twenty-four main sections with a brief mention of the various subcategories in each. There are over six hundred pages devoted to the illustrations of the items, their description and prices, bigger pictures for the more expensive. It is rounded off with indexes and directories to help us understand and access the market more easily.

However, many of the items listed and illustrated are top of the range, and being in demand of course are usually very expensive. It is a bit like reading one of those glossy Classic motoring magazines that feature immaculate Italian exoticars all through the ages, when the best we can afford is a battered ten-year-old rust-heap dreading its next MOT. Also in the past there sometimes have been two independently produced versions of this guide in the same year, for example in 2003 I bought both the full colour coffee-table type 2003 D&K edition with 8,500 items and the completely different "Professional Handbook" 2003 Octopus edition with 10,000 items.

The run-of-the-mill stuff that keeps the auction houses and the dealers in business is touched on more lightly, perhaps just enough to let us know that we don't really have anything tucked away in the attic that might be worth selling. Although some of the recent interesting collectibles are within affordable price ranges because they are still on their way up.

But we can still dream, and many of the pictures in the book are stunning, giving us a sumptuous feast for our eyes. And one never knows, when the blue moon is full it might just happen; having been educated by drooling over the treasures within, one might come across a bargain that has escaped the dealer's gimlet gaze!

Better than ever this year, it is a must-have for all Antiques enthusiasts.

However, if you want more historical and in-depth information about the items, rather than what is effectively a summary of what has recently sold for how much, then the 2013 Miller's Antiques Encyclopaedia is well worth buying also!

Finally, if you are really into the details of purchasing or selling then you will definitely need a couple of pocket books, Miller's Antiques Marks and of course Jackson's, to make sure of correctly identifying and dating the items you are interested in.
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VINE VOICEon 30 September 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I received this book free via the Amazon Vine programme (as did all my fellow 'Vine' reviewers, but none of them has bothered to mention the fact for some reason).

My interest in antiques is solely derived from avid viewing of 'Bargain Hunt' whenever I'm at home on weekday lunchtimes, a sure sign of impending old age, but it does make you look a bit harder when you're out and about at a sale or in a second hand shop.

This is a lovely book to own, with beautiful photographs of thousands of wonderful (and not so wonderful) objects. You couldn't take it with you to an antiques fair or a boot sale as it's too big, but it should be very useful to help you do your homework beforehand if you're interested in a specific subject.

I wouldn't have bought it if it hadn't been offered to me for nothing, but having received it, I've spent a good few hours already enjoying looking through it. I'm delighted to be able to say it has confirmed my pre-existing opinion that everything old that we own is rubbish.

Others have said it's a great coffee table book, and I'd have to agree. Sadly though, I can now see that our coffee table is made of genuine chipboard.

However I'm sure if you're involved in any way in the antiques world, it must be an essential purchase to keep abreast of the current state of the market.

When you're dealing with the definitive work on any subject, it's fairly pointless giving it any less than five stars, and I can't think of anything else I can usefully add.

Into antiques? Buy this book.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is the latest edition of a popular reference book that has been a favourite with both amateurs and professionals for many years. It has steadily increased in size with time and now `weighs in' at almost 650 near-A4 format pages, all lavishly illustrated in full colour. It is therefore not something one can carry around at an auction, but rather is intended to be a reference for use beforehand. The book is divided into a number of sections (furniture, textiles etc) within which are a large number of popular collecting themes, each illustrated by typical pieces, together with auction price guides. In addition, there are short informative notes scattered throughout on the importance of certain styles, points to watch for when buying, how to spot a fake etc.

Although the book is large, it is not of course comprehensive. It is strong on furniture and ceramics, as one would expect, but many fields are only covered very briefly, or are absent. For example, coins and stamps, both popular items with amateur collectors, are absent, and medals are barely mentioned. More detailed coverage and information is to be found in the `Antiques Encyclopedia' from the same source The book concludes with an interesting short section on modern design. Although not usually strictly antiques, this is a rapidly growing field for collecting and I would expect to see this section increase in size in future editions.

As a handy reference guide mainly for amateurs, this book is unbeatable, and even if you are not a collector you can always use it to impress your friends with your knowledge during episodes of TV antiques programmes.
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