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WHAT more can I add that has not already been said by the great and good in the glass world and cannily published here on the back page? "...Definitive work on the subject...", "worthwhile insight into a subject previously overlooked by connoisseurs...", "authoritative work...", "standard book on the subject for the next generation...", "serious contribution to the subject..", and "..like fine wine, this book is both rich and fruity." And it's all true. 

It's taken Andy seven years to exhaustively research and write  The Decanter, and this from a standing start of dealing in glass and having his own collection. Some of it has been a hard slog, but it has paid off as this is one of the strongest and most stylish of titles to come out of the Antique Collectors' Club. As Martin Mortimer of Delomosne & Son, says in his foreword: "..the best evidence of the author's determination and persistence is the enormous range of pieces discussed, over 2,250 illustrated." 

The contents list, with its 64 subject chapters gives an idea of the range and depth covered, cleverly including Continental and American examples in order to attract a more global market. So, just as a taster we have  The First English Cut-Glass, The Glass Excise Tax 1745, 18th Century Engraving, 18th century Enamelling, The Rise of the European Decanter, The Prussian Decanter, Georgian Wine and Dessert Services, American Decanters.... and  The Development of the Decanter in the 19th Century. So, we have  Early Victorian Decanters, Victorian Engraving, Later Victorian Infuenceand  The Rehabilitation of Victorian Glass. There's  Victorian Gothic, The Webb Dynasty, Whisky Decanters, Champagne Decanters, Lobmeyr, Moser and Later Bohemian Decanters, Later French Decanters, Maker Attribution, 20th Century Decanters and  Buying Antique Decanters. In amongst five appendices is the  Evolution of Decanter Shapes and a  Wages Index 1640-1914

This is a big project that handles a great depth knowledge with journalistic flair. This title ranks as  the book on the subject, satisfyingly so as Andy always said that he wanted the ACC to publish his book feeling that they were the only publishers who commanded the respect of his peers. As a journalist, Andy knows what makes a book a good read, and some of that is in its variety. 

The Decanter is full of cracking pictures, many from Andy's own collection, with cartoons, advertisements, catalogue illustations, pattern book illustrations and so on. The picture captions too are as lengthy as they are detailed. This is a well written book with an easy flowing style and it ranks alongside two ACC classics,  18th Century English Drinking Glasses and  The Jacobites and their Drinking Glasses. A vinous quote of this book could be "...First growth, well made and long on flavour...should keep for decades...".