British Warship Recognition: The Perkins Identification Albums (Hardback)
Volume IV: Cruisers 1865-1939, Part 2
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The Richard Perkins warship identification albums form one of the most detailed studies ever undertaken of the changes to the appearance of Royal Navy ships. However, it is a unique hand-drawn manuscript artefact in the care of the National Maritime Museum, so despite its value it is rarely seen by anyone besides the museum's curators, for whom it is a precious resource, used on an almost daily basis.
In collaboration with the Museum, Seaforth is undertaking the first publication of this monumental work in a superbly produced multi-volume edition that captures all the qualities of the original. Every page is reproduced at full size, making the extensive hand-written annotation readable, while the fine-line drawings retain all the colours that Perkins used to denote appearance differences and alterations.
Following the Museum's binding arrangement, the fourth volume of the series completes the coverage of all cruiser-type ships down to the Belfast class of 1939 begun in Volume III. This second part includes most of the smaller cruisers from about 1916 back to the Amazon class corvettes of 1865.
This is a publishing event of the utmost importance for every enthusiast and ship modeller, who for the first time will be able to own a copy of a unique and invaluable reference work.
With such detailed information it should be possible to identify and date photographs of the subject ships throughout their lives up to 1939. This feature of the original albums has been an invaluable resource at the National Maritime Museum’s photograph archive at Woolwich for many years and I can imagine that anyone with an interest in the development of the warships of this period, or with a collection of photographs to identify and catalogue more accurately will find this volume an important addition to their bookshelves. Yes it is expensive but for a recommended retail price that equates to dinner for one at a good restaurant you get a lot of information, coloured drawings that have been reproduced to a high quality and fascinating detail sketches. I value my copy and recommend this new volume of a unique series highly.Australian Naval Institute, David Hobbs
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The pages are high quality reproductions of the original pages of the Perkins albums and the highly information it contains is amazing. Not just a single profile of individual ships, but many have extra notes and a series of pictures illustrating detail such as the mast arrangements, shape of the bridge etc as they varied between ships in the class and as they were changed during their service life. Even the neatly written text notes show changes as the author added or updated notes over time. What you have is very much a 'bible' of help to identify not only individual ships in archive photos, but also to indicate what year it shows the vessel. Individually the book is a delight to see by itself and as the growing set a magnificent reference.Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland
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The work is unique and, by virtue of its accuracy, authority, and the sheer volume of detail, it fills a very important gap in British naval history. It well-deserves inspection.NZ Crown Mines
This volume continues the coverage of cruisers begun in Volume III. – This is a reproduction of the set of eight volumes held by the British National Maritime Museum where it has provided an unparalleled source of information for the Museum’s staff – Most Recommended.Firetrench
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A very elegant rendition of a comprehensive set of detailed watercolours of early Royal Navy cruisers depicting each as she changed throughout her life...Robert Griffiths, Seaweed
Seaforth are yet again to be congratulated for bringing to the public another extraordinary gem from the NMM's otherwise unseen treasure house, and for doing so in such an elegant style.
NOTE: reviewed alongside volume IIIThomo's Hole - reviewed by Ian Thompson
Both books are a wonderful addition to a naval book collection.
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A well produced and substantial collection which is an invaluable reference work.Mariners Mirror