Head-dress Badges of the British Army 1800-1918: Vol 1 Hardcover – 1 Jan 2010
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About the Author
With the recent death of Hugh King and the disposal of his collection by auction. The Naval and Military Press have republished both volumes of this work
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Top customer reviews
Positive first: It's comprehensiveness to the WW1 researcher is beyond doubt and the index and structure are both accessible.
Negative: The reproduction of badge photographs is quite simply appalling in places. Some photo's are so blurred as to be rendered useless and I frequently have to refer back to my 'Gaylor' guide or the internet to find a visible representation. Because of this issue it has become a secondary rather than primary resource.
The second negative is that, in view of the above failing, it is preposterously overpriced. I recommend tracking down a 'Gaylor' and supplementing it with a Doyle/Foster "British Army Cap Badges of the First World War" as a much more viable proposition.
Though this is the most comprehensive work on the subject available, I've always considered it to be a bit overpriced (I think it was about £35 in 1980).
I have now bought a copy using book tokens accrued over the years.
Though the text is first rate, it is certainly let down by some of the photographs, as has been pointed out by another reviewer.
I found it a little inconvenient that the text refers to illustrations that are on different pages, not a huge obstacle to my enjoyment but it pulls my rating down.
Another issue is that of "restrikes", reproductions or outright fakes. This wasn't such a problem when this book was first published, though the authors do say in their hints to collectors that glengarry badges were reproduced before the Great War and were even weathered before sale to make them look used!
Now, when even the most common badges are reproduced, the problem is very much worse and should be thoroughly discussed.
With better photographs and an update though, this would certainly be a five star book and might even be worth the cover price.
The needs must for any avid collector - I got mine second had (1979 edition) and it still all rings true. Granted for a more informative read about the history of the Regiments, then "Military Badge Collecting" by John Gaylor is good.
It might be pricy these books, but they are well worth it and an investment for the future.