Top ten Christmas books for antique & art fans

With the festive season upon us and time ticking on to pick up those all-important stocking fillers for family and friends, we’ve pulled together a list of brilliant books for lovers of antiques and art.

  1. Top 10 BooksExplore the diverse work of highly acclaimed mid-century artist, John Piper in John Piper Design. An enigmatic figure – an antiquarian who pioneered non-representational British art, and an abstract painter inspired by medieval stained glass – Piper became one of the most diverse designers of his generation.
  2. Top 10 Books2Through a series of essays by leading experts, Samuel Pepys Plague, Fire, Revolution is a richly illustrated book that reveals the rich diversity of Pepys’s career and interests – from theatre and scientific advances, to the development of the Royal Navy and the beheading of Charles I. The book accompanies an exhibition at the Royal Museums Greenwich.
  3. Top 10 Books3100 British Chairs celebrates the evolution of British chair design across several important periods. Presented in a roughly chronological sequence, the emphasis is on early (pre-1745) and late (post-1840) periods. The presentation is also thematic, and this more accurately represents the purpose of the book, which is to illustrate some of the key developments in British chair design in the chosen periods.
  4. Top 10 Books4Enter the strange and delightfully eccentric world of antiques and auctions by joining television regular Marc Allum in the latest instalment of his popular Allum’s Antiques Almanac. Allum’s work answers such intriguing questions as: what happened to Oliver Cromwell’s famous wart? And: Which unusual memento of Winston Churchill’s had to be withdrawn from sale?
  5. Top 10 Books5A complete and fully illustrated survey of British-made glass in the last century, ranging from Art Nouveau masterpieces from 1900 to contemporary studio glass sculpture in 2000, 20th Century British Glass is a must-read for devotees of the decorative artform.
  6. Top 10 Books6While plotting the world is generally seen as a serious business, the beautiful illustrations and text within The Curious Map Book clearly demonstrate that cartographers of all periods had a sense of humour, and mapmakers often used their artistic talents to create maps not for strictly geographical purposes but for the pleasure and entertainment of others. This  amusing and unusual book reveals the often overlooked playful side of mapmaking.
  7. JacksonsHallmarksThis newly revised edition of Jackson’s Hallmarks (the first in more than 20 years) brings this classic text for English, Scottish and Irish silver and gold marks right up to date. Containing more than 1,000 makers’ marks listed alphabetically by mark, with comments as to rarity, value and the speciality of the maker (e.g. spoons), it is an invaluable and best-selling pocket guide.
  8. TryItBuyItAn entertaining and colourful collection of more than 200 classic advertisements, drawn from the British Library’s rich collection of vintage ephemera. Try it! Buy it! Vintage Adverts includes colourful, amusing and sometimes bizarre advertising from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This book reproduces for the first time dozens of adverts that were printed in fashion magazines and newspapers, or appeared as posters and trade cards. It offers a unique pictorial introduction to the history of print culture in Britain, and shows the deep roots of consumerism as well as the surprisingly familiar ways – catchy slogans, strong typography and bright colours – in which advertisers have always fought for our attention.
  9. SusieCooperWith Susie Cooper’s work continuing to be in demand and her influence evident in contemporary ceramics, this definitive guide, Susie Cooper A Pioneer of Modern Design  explores the work of this highly respected ceramic designer. The major achievements from her prolific career are discussed across eighteen authoritative, comprehensive, essays, alongside facts about her life revealed for the first time from new research material and information gleaned from her family.
  10. Pastry JiggersHere’s a contender as the ideal read for antique lovers and fans of The Great British Bake Off this Christmas, Pastry Jiggers and Pastry Prints. Author Michael Finlay explores the fascinating history and development of this humble tool in the pastry chef’s arsenal. Much collected as modestly priced antiques, this book is a great introduction to these fascinating implements and includes examples of pastry patterns made by the author’s own collection.


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