The Griffin book is the best book on tins in general, but this is the best coverage of biscuit tins in print. A summary in one sentence would be "a massive amount of Huntley and Palmers biscuit tns ilustrated in colour with the products of a few other manufacturers thrown in" Obviously the main focus of the book is the period of manufacture of tins that would become collectable, and equally obviously 99% of them are not square. The techniques of litho printing which was evolving in the book publishing indutry was evolving in parallel in the packaging industry. As tins were three dimensional, the constraints upon the medium were different to the simplicity of a book plate and the techniques learned gradually led to the production of some wonderful tinplate toys. The period ends with the war when austerity measures and scarcity of materials changed packaging forever. This book is the perfect study of biscuit tins before they went square.
For those in the field of biscuit tin collecting this is a long-awaited new edition of Franklin's famous 1979 'British Biscuit Tins 1868-1939, An Aspect of Decorative Packaging'. The publishers have gone to considerable trouble to completely revise the book, the main part of their efforts being the new layout and photographic manipulation which is a great improvement on the old edition. In the old edition each tin had equal emphasis, whereas in the the new there are some excellent blow-ups of a selection of tins which allows close inspection of the fine details. On the whole the photographs are better technically in terms of contrast, brightness etc. A few are slightly worse. While the book still follows a loose chronological order, there are themed pages for various subjects and series of tins. The publishers have also written some informative text on the tins, the tin makers and designers. Although there is nothing new in this it is useful for collectors who are new to the subject. I found a couple of mistakes had been iterated from the previous edition but this may be because the publishers did not wish to or could not change MJ Franklin's original text. An essential reference for all biscuit tin collectors.
I am not an antiques collector, but I liked the idea behind this book: antique bisquit tins in all sorts of eccentric shapes, sizes and colours. The book contains a wealth of beautiful, detailed and large colour photographs of the tins, each with a short description. It's ideal to start a collection, but also to just leaf through and be surprised. The book is divided into chapters, which deal with a certain period each. An amazing book!