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Brand: Arthur Ward

Beginner's Guide To Wartime Collectables

by Arthur Ward

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A Guide To Wartime Collectables

We live in the information age, a period that offers unrivalled data transfer and unlimited access to global archives. Collectors have never had it so easy. Today, at the click of a mouse, via the Internet they can exchange details about items they are looking for or send photos of things they want to sell, and communicate with dealers and like-minded enthusiasts located at opposite sides of the planet.

Online market places like eBay offer a cornucopia of accessible objects and the opportunity to, sometimes, purchase items at knock-down prices. However, being provided with unlimited access to information is only of any use if you know what you are looking for. The ever-expanding resource of the World Wide Web might be a repository of everything but if you are looking in the wrong section, or asking the wrong question, it can provide myriad dead ends rather than bang-on answers! Collectors of militaria, that catch-all term that covers everything from army badges to gas masks, have always relied on ready access to reference works to help them navigate around the bewildering landscape of available collectables.

Most of the classic reference works have been targeted at the experienced collector and are often difficult for the tyro to decipher. Something handier is needed. The Beginner's Guide to Wartime Collectables is intended to be that easy to use guide.

It will not only tell the novice about the major types of twentieth-century military collectables, it will also show what they look like and, importantly, what the newcomer should be looking for. It's also important to be sure you are purchasing authentic military artefacts and not mere reproduction items or, worse still, out and out fakes. Written by a lifelong collector, this book is also full of the author's own photographs, many, like those showing details of insignia and other regalia, taken with specialist close-up lenses, so that every detail can be clearly seen.

The 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War in August 2014 makes this publication very timely and, I hope, elevates commonplace items like postcards and crested china to their rightful place as definite military collectables.

Staff Reviews

Arthur Ward grew up in a military household and has written a number of books on military themes. This background, coupled with his evident passion for collecting militaria, shines through in this beginner's introduction to the subject of wartime collectables. The book describes a wide range of twentieth century military items, provides numerous photographs to accompany the text, and delivers hints and tips for the beginner on what to look for (and what to avoid). The first six chapters of the work each cover a different category of collectable items such as insignia, uniforms, military equipment and printed material/ephemera - the last of these proving especially (and perhaps surprisingly) engaging. The final two chapters focus on some of the practical aspects of developing and maintaining a collection, such as detecting fakes, displaying and storing your collection, and caring for your items. The book is written in a very accessible and chatty style, ideally suited to the beginner who might otherwise be overwhelmed by technical information. At the same time, Mr Ward provides more than enough specific detail and advice to enable the novice to take their first steps on the road to building a collection. The numerous photographs, in colour throughout, helpfully illustrate many of the items referred to. Very occasionally, the quality of the photos could have been a little better, but with so many excellent ones included this is scarcely a major problem. A number of typographical errors were a more unfortunate drawback, but generally these were simply distracting rather than misleading. As a beginner in this field, I finished this book with a much better understanding of military collectables and how best to approach starting a collection - so for a novice, a very good introduction to the subject. Simon Gregor The Friends of The National Archives http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/get-involved/friends.htm Friends of The National Archives