I ducked into a used bookstore the other day hoping to find a book or two about antique jewelry. The relevant section turned out to be small but interesting. There was a paperback about collecting men's belt buckles, an eye-watering, huge book about Lalique, several old Christie's auction catalogs and - on the top shelf - a book called Collecting Antique Jewellery. I bought that one. I like it because it has almost no photographs or illustrations and the writing is great - written in such a good-natured tone that it borders on comic. Here are a couple of my favorite passages:
On Georgian earrings: "Dangling" would appear to be the operative adjective for Georgian earrings which were invariably long and free-swinging. Indeed, some were of such extravagant length that they reached the wearer's shoulders.
On how to locate "finds:" The car-driving collector is at a great advantage. For him it is possible to search in little village shops in hidden byways, often a rich source of supply . . . It can be a fascinating summer pursuit in leisurely tour of towns and villages with the ever-present hope of unearthing treasure-trouve en route.