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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 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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on 30 September 2013
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 17 November 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Although this is my third Millers Guide it's the first I have owned from new. The cover price usually makes it is too expensive to purchase it from anywhere apart from charity shops when it is two or three years out of date. I am not in the antiques trade and probably the oldest thing I own is my birth certificate but I can spend hours looking through a Millers Guide, and owning one in which the prices quoted are fairly accurate only intensifies the pleasure that I get from this.

Everything about it suggests quality. Whilst publishers of other types of price guide may choose to print them on paper that is barely thicker than tissue paper the publishers of Millers refuse to skimp and instead use paper that is thick and glossy. The photo's are also excellent; sharp and colourful and of a size big enough to get a proper impression of the item in question. Even the text, which you would perhaps expect to be dry and stuffy, is anything but; there are enough interesting facts and trivia is make it not just an informative read but an entertaining one too.

Personally it is not the conventional antiques listed in the book, like furniture and artwork, that I enjoy reading about. The fun stuff are the items that are broadly described as collectables; books and toys, clocks and watches and the sort of stuff that I remember seeing collecting dust on my grandparents sideboard years ago.

Reading a Millers Guide always brings back another memory of my childhood. I don't think that they exist any more but when I was young my dad used to regularly take me to what used to be called junkshops. These junkshops were usually owned by old men who wore flat caps and fingerless gloves and were treasure troves containing piles of old comics, dog-earred books, discarded toys and bicycles and shelves upon shelves of chipped or cracked pottery. If these junkshops were around today I'm sure that tucked away somewhere would be a Millers Guide. It would probably be a few years out of date though.
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on 3 October 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was tempted to give it five stars but as it contains little that you are likely to find at an antiques market or boot sale or on Bargain Hunt, I felt four was appropriate. And I wonder what sort of person will buy this book. Possibly one who has valuable antiques, or maybe someone who likes to look at coloured pictures of valuable antiques, and read a tiny bit about them. It's a 648-page indulgence, very well produced with excellent photographs and an index covering a huge range of antiques, and that makes it feel like a sort of coffee table book. It is illustration heavy, so visually appealing, but tells one little about each object or the category in general. It's lavish yet superficial, style over substance, but nevertheless a nice book to have. Like owning a fine bottle of brandy, I suppose. Yet, I wonder if any publisher has ever considered publishing an antiques handbook and price guide for the masses, full of stuff under £1,000, with special sections on jumble sales, old tat and bargains under a fiver. Probably not. So four stars for Miller's extravagance based on production values and photography, and only half that in respect of actual usefulness.
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VINE VOICETOP 100 REVIEWERon 1 October 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have seen these guides over the years and always thought they looked special. I now have in my hands a very weighty volume of the highest printed quality with fine illustrations. I think other reviewers have mentioned this as being a great coffee table book and I have to agree that it will be a great shame to just put it onto the bookshelf.
I note that this is published by Octopus and printed in China and regarding the full RRP it is not overpriced but like most things it can be purchased at a discounted price.
This book will appeal to those who enjoy looking at beautiful objects and there are many to be found on the pages of this guide. It will also be a wonderful resource for those wishing to gain information on values and comparisons.
The range of objects included by subject is considerable making this the first call as a reference volume.
As you may expect there is a lengthy section on furniture with hundreds if not more images to enable identification. Take a look at page 176 and you will see an American child's barber chair in the form of a leopard and valued at twenty thousand pounds.
The famous Metamorphic library table/steps can be found on page 195 and the valuation makes one worth looking out for.
The section on clocks and watches is very detailed and beautifully illustrated and page 304 has an image of a highly valuable Piaget Diamond set white gold bracelet watch that I doubt I shall ever see!
Pages 387/388 feature some very old corkscrews that happen to have considerable value. I could continue to pick out things that have caught my eye but it is getting difficult as every pages contains items of interest. I will have to simply recommend this latest edition as a must have for the collector and social history fan.
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 September 2013
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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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 October 2013
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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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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VINE VOICEon 24 October 2013
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 16 November 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Miller's Antique Guide is such a perennial presence in bookshops that it's easy to find comfort in its availability without ever actually picking one up. Having always thought it was aimed more at the enthusiast than the casual reader I was quite surprised to find myself happily engrossed after picking it up for a browse.

We acquired it initially for valuing charity shop treasures and, for that purpose, it's both practical and easy to use. But even as a casual browse it's very interesting and packed full of information and trivia to store away so you can look clever at a later date.

For instance, the first Harry Potter book only had a run of 500 copies and a mint condition copy will happily keep you in nice holidays abroad for a few years.

The book is split into -colour coded- categories for ease of use and each category is complemented by interesting bits of antique/collector trivia.

It feels like a quality book too, the pages are thick and glossy, the photos lovely to look at and it's pleasingly heavy to hold.

This truly is the mass market bible for antiques and works both as a practical resource and, surprisingly, as a coffee table book. Possibly still of more interest for full time antique hunters but still a high quality product that I really can't pick fault with.
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