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FROM her other books when she was with the Miller’s Mitchell Beazley stable, Judith’s introduction is very familiar: “My interest in antiques began when I was at school… grew when I became a student at Edinburgh University and began to collect ‘old plates’… names on the back of plates fascinated me.”

Judith refers to the now far greater choice of items for people to collect and discover, adding: “Many with very strange names and strange associated terminology.”

If there is such a thing as a beginner now in a field so overloaded with antiques information, strange or otherwise, then this book, edited by JM with a posse of specialist contributors, may add to the sum of knowledge. She does know her stuff.

From Aaron’s rod to the Caltagirone Potteries, and from a Marlborough leg to a snaphaunce via 3000 entries, 1300 photographs and drawings and 50 one-page features… Aesthetic Movement, Biedermeier style, etc, this reference contains no index but does have a price reference code. The two-and-a-bit Further Reading section pages is as good a pointer as any to a much wider resource.