Summary : Art Deco (DK Collector’s Guide), Judith Miller

Book Title : Art Deco (DK Collector’s Guide)
Author : Judith Miller & Mark Hill
Published By : Dorling Kindersley
Date of Publication : 2005
ISBN : 1 4053 0754 4
Pages : 240

The only full-colour visual reference to Art Deco that includes historical information, collectors’ tips and price guides

Over 1,000 items with precise descriptions, up-to-date valuations and “closer look” features to help identify the most desirable pieces

Features affordable collectables and classic pieces, with work from key designers including René Lalique, Georg Jensen, Daum and Clarice Cliff

Showcases all the popular Art Deco collecting fields – from furniture and glass to jewellery and posters

The book starts with a one page guide on how to use the book and a short forward by Judith Miller. A comprehensive 13-page introduction follows which gives an explanation of art deco, the 1925 Paris exposition, origins and influences, iconography, new lifestyles, worldwide style and the beginnings of modernism.

The eight main sections are as follows

  1. Furniture
  2. Textiles
  3. Glass
  4. Ceramics
  5. Jewellery
  6. Silver and Metalware
  7. Sculpture
  8. Posters and Graphics

The book then concludes with the appendices which include a glossary, directory of dealers and auction houses and their source codes, directory of museums, index and acknowledgements.

Section 1 : Furniture, pp22-61
includes designers Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann, Paul Follot, Süe et Mare, Jules Leleu, Léon and Maurice Jallot, De Coene Frères, Maurice Dufrène, Marcel Breuer, Alvar Aalto, Paul Frankl, Donald Deskey, Eugene Schoen, Gilbert Rohde, Betty Joel, Gordon Russel Ltd, Harry and Lou Epstein, and Ray Hille.
Articles covering French and Belgian, European, Swedish, American and British furniture are also included.
The featured collecting field for this section is Lighting.

Section 2 : Textiles, pp62-75
has sections on French, European and American Textiles, Rugs and Carpets and Fashion.
The featured collecting field is Handbags.

Section 3 : Glass, pp76-105
includes the glassworks of René Lalique, Marcel Goupy, François-Emile Décorchement, Daum, Schneider, Val Saint-Lambert and Steuben.
Articles cover French, European, American and British Glass, whilst the featured collecting field is Perfume Bottles.
British Glass covers two pages, and includes examples and prices for glass produced by Stuart, Webb Corbett, Whitefriars, Richardson, Royal Brierley and John Walsh Walsh.

Section 4 : Ceramics, pp106-147
The potteries and designers include Sèvres, Jean Mayodon, Goldschneider, Rosenthal, Meissen, Boch Frères, Clarice Cliff, Susie Cooper, Poole Pottery, Royal Doulton, Carlton Ware, Keith Murray, Cowan Pottery, Rookwood and Roseville.
European, British and American ceramics are covered individually. The featured collecting field is Wall Masks.

Section 5 : Jewellery, pp148-171
Jewellery by Cartier, Chanel, Theodor Fahrner and Georg Jensen is included. There are also sections dedicated to French, European and American jewellery.
Watches and plastic jewellery both have two pages each.

Section 6 : Silver and Metalware, pp172-197
includes the work of Christofle, Paul Kiss, Georg Jensen, Norman Bel Geddes, Russel Wright and Chase Brass & Copper Co.. There are features on three collecting fields; Car Mascots, Cocktail and Barware and Plastics. European and American silver and metalware also have a couple of pages each.

Section 7 : Sculpture, pp198-211
Ferdinand Preiss, Demêtre Chiparus, Josef Lorenzl and Hagenauer Werkstätte all feature in the sculture section. Additionally, there is a section on European sculpture and a two-page feature on clocks.

Section 8 : Poster and Graphics, pp212-225
There are just five topics in this section. One each for European, British and American Posters, plus a page each for Jean Dupas and Jean Chassaing.

Art Deco (DK Collector’s Guides) by Judith Miller

The book is clearly laid out and well presented, in the format I have come to expect from DK books.  Similarly, the pieces shown tend to be the really nice auction pieces the run-of-the-mill person doesn’t stand a chance of acquiring for their collection.  I was a little disappointed that the glass section didn’t mention some of the more affordable art-deco glass centerpieces such as those made by Walther or Jobling. However, the book is lovely if you want a general overview of Art Deco styles and designers.

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