TARTANS by Christian Hesketh


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The first three monographs for hobbyists and collectors in this unusual series provide the clue to handling and approach that will probably be maintained in the coming CLOCKS by Simon Fleet and FRENCH PORCELAIN by M. Landais (LC: 61-12199 & LC: 61-12201, respectively). The three already seen deal with the topics in different ways. SILVER is to a large extent a chronological account of the early goldsmith guild work, the continental influences, the step by step advance in the use of silver, the characteristics of the successive periods. SHELLS starts with the use over the centuries of shells in art and architecture, then goes on to the famous collectors and the basic early books on conchology- and with this as background, discusses specific examples of various classifications, under a general heading of univalves and bivalves. This- despite its superb illustrations- would scarcely serve as a field guide to shells, but might well spark interest...TARTANS explores the controversial byways of sources, age and history of tartans, linking the evidence closely to famous portraits and paintings, and going on to the variants, and the buroning interest in tracing down ancient claims, as well as inventing new ones, in the Victorian era. The omission of bibliographies and indexes limits the use of these for reference, but collectors and hobbyists will enjoy them for their beauty.

Publisher: Putnam