4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An extraordinary acheivement,
This review is from: The Handbook of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks (Paperback)
Godden's other book, Encyclopedia Of British Pottery And Porcelain Marks, is a 'blunt object' of a volume, heavy enough to make your arms ache. How then, did he manage to compress so much information into this pocket handbook? Obviously, not every pottery and not every mark could possibly be included - yet an extraordinary number are fitted in, together with brief notes on the potteries. At the back, an index of initials quickly takes you to the relevant pottery, though not all the potteries keyed appear in the main text. Dates are given for potteries, and where a factory used a set of dating symbols (eg Minton) tables of these are supplied.
Many of the factories listed are early and obscure; it's fairly easy to memorise the marks for Sylvac, Royal Lancastrian and so on, it's these rare Staffordshire potters, these Bow, Chelsea and Yarmouth factories of the 18th century, who are going to yield bootfair gold; the pretty, unassuming little thing that costs you 50p and is worth hundreds, so it's important to have these here even if you may never stumble across an example. I've other pocket guides to ceramics marks, but this is the one I take with me. It's a treasure.
At the front of the book is a series of illustrations (black and white, I'm afraid) showing the different types of ceramics - slipware, stoneware, lustre and so on - which is handy if you're starting out. However I would point the keen beginner to a superb book English Pottery (Fitzwilliam Museum Handbooks), with unbeatable quality photographs of a wide range of ceramics which will painlessly and enjoyably teach you a great deal.