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A Guide to Wartime Collectables (Hardback)

WWII WWI Colour Books

By Arthur Ward
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 164
ISBN: 9781848848122
Published: 16th September 2013

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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.

As featured in Sussex Local Magazine

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.

Friends of the National Archives

A well researched and excellent publication. A very useful book written by an author who knows his stuff.

The Armourer

This well-illustrated book is a 'must read' for the novice collector, and is published at a time that coincides with the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War in August 2014.

Antiques Diary

Given the 100th anniversary of the Great War and the anniversaries for D-Day and Arnhem in World War 2 this book’s publication is in a timely manner. Hopefully it will elevate some of those common piece items such as postcards and crested china to their rightful place as military collectables.

The author gives an expert treatment of the subject in a number of chapters. These chapters include cloth and metal insignia, uniforms, equipment, headgear, items from the Home Front and printed material (papers and ephemera). There is a good treatment on detecting fakes and caring for your collectable and the book concludes with a chapter on how to make the most of the hobby. Overall it is a very good book and will appeal to novice collectors as well as those with some experience. It has a general treatment of the subject and is not a reference work on a specific type of collectable. Even expert collectors will find it useful and the author has done a splendid job.

Military Archive Research

Written by a lifelong collector…it not only informs the novice about the major types of twentieth-century collectables, but also shows what they look like and, importantly, what the newcomer should be looking out for – or indeed avoiding.

Britain at War
 Arthur Ward

About Arthur Ward

Trained at art school, Arthur Ward has enjoyed a thirty-year career in media and marketing. His first love, however, is history, and he is particularly interested in the social and political aspects of military history and, as far removed from this as it is perhaps possible to get, the history of toys. He is a specialist about Airfix and is considered the leading authority about this famous brand. He also runs www.collectingfriends.com, the enthusiasts’ website he established with Radio Four's Peter Donaldson.

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