Antique & Collectable Book Reviews

The books on this page are all books that are in our collection and that we use regularly and would recommend. They are a mixture of reference books, collectors' guides and a few others. You won't find many price guides here as we don't believe they are very useful and they go out of date too fast. The only price information we pay attention to is actual sale prices from auctions, dealers and fairs.


Encyclopaedia of Pottery and Porcelain Marks by Geoffrey Godden

Pottery Marks

Geoffrey Godden's Encyclopaedia of Pottery and Porcelain Marks is the definitive book on this subject and is incredibly comprehensive. It's one of the best reference books we own and is invaluable for anyone who is serious about British ceramics. This book covers commercial potteries only, not studio potteries.

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Encyclopaedia of Studio Pottery Marks by Yates-Owen and Fourniers

Studio Marks

Yates-Owen and Fourniers' Encyclopaedia of Studio Pottery Marks is the most comprehensive guide to British studio pottery marks available. Our copy is well used and it is an essential book for studio pottery enthusiasts. It is not a lightweight edition, but is invaluable for research and identification.

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British Porcelain by John Sandon

British Porcelain

British Porcelain by John Sandon. This beautifully-illustrated book tells the story of British porcelain from the 17th century through to the present day. Author John Sandon is one of the UK's leading experts on British porcelain and a regular face on the Antiques Roadshow. His passion and expertise for his subject make the book a very interesting read for anyone interested in learning about or collecting porcelain.

Read our full review of British Porcelain - click here.

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British Teapots and Coffee Pots by Steven Goss - Shire Books

British Teapots

British Teapots and Coffee Pots by Steven Goss is a good introductory guide to the world of British teapot collecting.

Read our full review of British Teapots and Coffee Pots - click here.

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Ceramics of the 1950s by Graham McLaren

1950s Ceramics

Ceramics of the 1950s by Graham McLaren is a compact volume written by a knowledgable author and published by Shire Books. There are lots of examples of 1950 ceramics provided from most of the main British potteries of the time.

Read our full review of Ceramics of the 1950s by Graham McLaren - click here.

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Art Deco Ceramics by Greg Stevenson

Art Deco

Art Deco Ceramics by Greg Stevenson. Art Deco Ceramics is a compact volume that provides a good introduction to the most popular British Art Deco potteries and designers.

Read our full review of Art Deco Ceramics - click here.

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William De Morgan, Arts and Crafts Potter by Rob Higgins Christopher Stolbert Robinson

Arts and Crafts

William De Morgan, Arts and Crafts Potter by Rob Higgins Christopher Stolbert Robinson.William De Morgan was the original Arts and Crafts potter and created a standard of technical and artistic excellence that remains impressive today. This book tells the story of his life and his work, generously illustrated with photos of his pottery.

Read our full review of William De Morgan, Arts and Crafts Potter - click here.

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A Pocket Guide to Carlton Ware, by Czes and Yvonne Kosniowski

Carlton Ware Pottery

The Carlton Ware Collectors Handbook The most useful Carlton Ware book we own is A Pocket Guide to Carlton Ware, by Czes and Yvonne Kosniowski. Well-known Carlton Ware collectors, they have produced this extremely comprehensive guide to shapes, patterns and backstamps in a format that will fit in your coat pocket - ideal for buying trips. If you are looking for an introduction to Carlton Ware, then try Collecting Carlton Ware (Carlton Ware Collectors Handbook). Written by David Serpell, it provides a guide to the pottery and an overview of the main types of ware produced. A good general reference guide for new collectors.

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Clarice Cliff: The Bizarre Affair, by Leonard Griffin Leonard Griffin - Taking Tea With Clarice Cliff

Clarice Cliff Pottery

Clarice Cliff is one of the best-known names in 20th century ceramics. Famed for her bold, colourful Art Deco styles, her work has become very popular over the last twenty years. As a result, there are a number of books on the market covering Clarice Cliff's life, work and providing reference guides to patterns and shapes for which she was responsible. In our experience, the best overall book on Clarice Cliff is Clarice Cliff: The Bizarre Affair, by Leonard Griffin. Griffin is a recognised expert on Clarice Cliff and this book is both good reading and a good reference source. Naturally, it is very well illustrated.

Clarice Cliff by Will FarmerFor anyone who is particularly interested in Clarice Cliff tea (and coffee) wares, then Leonard Griffin's book Taking Tea With Clarice Cliff is a must-have. As its name suggests, it focuses on Cliff's tea ware designs and includes a comprehensive guide to tea ware designs as well as background history on Clarice Cliff's life and work.

For an illustrated tour of Clarice Cliff's life and her work read Clarice Cliff by Will Farmer. You can read our full review of this book - click here.

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Buy Leonard Griffin's book Taking Tea With Clarice Cliff on Amazon

Crown Devon: History of S. Fielding & Co, by Susan Hill



The Backstamps of Fielding's Crown Devon - Alan H. Roberts

The Musical Novelties of Fielding's Crown Devon - Alan H. Roberts

Crown Devon Pottery


Crown Devon: History of S. Fielding & Co, by Susan Hill, is a large, hardback, glossy reference book covering the complete history of Fielding & Co. Published by Jazz Pulications it is well illustrated and contains information on pattern and shape numbers that I haven't found elsewhere. Very well illustrated and thoroughly interesting to read. You can read our full review of this book - click here.


The Crown Devon Collectors Handbook by Ray Barker, a smaller paperback book with approximately 120 pages.


The Backstamps of Fielding's Crown Devon by Alan H. Roberts is an essential reference guide for anyone wanting to know about Fielding's backstamps in comprehensive detail. You can read our full review of this book - click here.


The Musical Novelties of Fielding's Crown Devon by Alan H. Roberts is a guide to the musical and commemorative wares produced by the Crown Devon pottery during its most prolific period. You can read our full review of this book - click here.

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Crown Ducal Snow Glaze Tableware and Decorative Pottery,Ian Newton

Crown Ducal Pottery

Crown Ducal Snow Glaze by Ian Newton is an excellent reference guide to the snow glaze patterns designed by Charlotte Rhead for A.G. Richardson from 1935-1939, which were sold under the Crown Ducal brand. You can read our full review of this book - click here.

Denby Pottery 1809-1997: Dynasties and Designers

Denby Pottery

Denby Pottery 1809-1997: Dynasties and Designers - this book is the definitive reference guide to Denby Pottery. It covers the pottery's output up to 1997 and provides a good mixture of historical information and technical detail. Ranges, designers and marks are all well documented and we always turn to this book for information about Denby Pottery.

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Keith Murray, Designer

Keith Murray

Keith Murray, Designer, is the best general reference guide on the ceramic and glass work of Keith Murray, a New Zealand-born architect who made his name as a designer in the 1930s. It includes a good, comprehensive guide to Murray's ceramic work at Wedgwood, as well as his glass (Stevens and Williams Glass Works) and silver (Mappin and Webb) work. This is a useful book and is conveniently sized for carrying around.

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Langley Mill Pottery

The history of the Langley Mill pottery is surprisingly rich. The Langley Mill Pottery: Its History and Wares, is a detailed, richly-illustrated guide written by John and Jenifer Giblin. It is very comprehensive and the definitive book on both the history and the wares of the pottery. Includes information about patterns, shapes and pottery markings, along with date guides. A lovely book to look through and essential for serious collectors.

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The Martin Brothers, Potters, by Malcolm Haslam

Martin Brothers Pottery

The definitive book on this highly-collectable art pottery is The Martin Brothers, Potters, by Malcolm Haslam. This is a true reference book and combines historical information with the kind of technical information that is invaluable to collectors. It is also well illustrated and a please to browse through.

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Moorcroft: A Guide to Moorcroft Pottery 1897-1993 by Paul Atterbury

Moorcroft Pottery

Moorcroft: A Guide to Moorcroft Pottery 1897-1993. Paul Atterbury's book is the reference book for all things Moorcroft. It is generously illustrated with large, colour photographs and contains pattern sheets and other essential reference material for the Moorcroft collector or dealer. An excellent book that is also a pleasure to browse through.

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Pendelfin Collector's Handbook by Stella Ashbrook

PenDelfin Rabbits

The most useful reference book for PenDelfin collectors is the Pendelfin Collector's Handbook. Written by the well-known PenDelfin expert and specialist auctioneer, Stella Ashbrook, it covers production from the pottery's foundation up until around the first few years of this century. For a more intimate and detailed history of PenDelfin, I would recommend the late Jean Walmsley Heap's book, Pendelfin Story: The Story of a Hobby. Jean was one of the founders of PenDelfin and the designer of some of its most successful pieces. She tells the story with a touch of humour and a genuine passion that is very engaging.

Buy the Pendelfin Collector's Handbook on Amazon

Buy the Pendelfin Story: The Story of a Hobby on Amazon

Poole Pottery by Paul Atterbury
Poole Pottery by Will Farmer - Shire Books

Poole Pottery

Poole Pottery by Paul Atterbury. As with his other pottery reference guides, this large hardback book is the most comprehensive source of information about Poole Pottery I have found and is well researched, beautifully illustrated and includes lots of detail on patterns, shapes, artists' marks and important dates. Highly recommended.

Poole Pottery by Will Farmer is a much more concise and compact paperback introduction to the Poole Pottery. Nevertheless, for under £10 it is a very nice introduction to the subject written by a decorative arts specialist with colour photographs on every page. Click here - to read our full review of Poole Pottery by Will Farmer.

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Buy Poole Pottery by Will Farmer on Amazon

Royal Crown Derby by Margaret Sargeant - Shire Books

Royal Crown Derby

Royal Crown Derby by Margaret Sargeant - is a concise and compact introduction to the Derby porcelain factory from its origins in c1750 at the Nottingham Road factory through to its present day factory at Osmaston Road. This A5-sized book published by Shire Books provides interesting photographs on every page which are mostly colour (an added bonus) and includes many of the pottery marks used by the factory throughout its history.

Read our full review of Royal Crown Derby by Margaret Sargeant - click here.

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Scottish Pottery by Graeme Cruickshank

Scottish Pottery

Scotland had a large, industrial pottery industry in the 18th and 19th centuries and remains an important part of the British studio pottery scene today. Graeme Cruickshank's book tells the story of the rise and fall of Scotland's large potteries and introduces some of the smaller potteries that remain today.

Read our full review of Scottish Pottery - click here.

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Collecting Shelley Pottery, by Robert Prescott-Walker

Shelley Pottery

Shelley Tea Ware Patterns Collecting Shelley Pottery, by Robert Prescott-Walker, is a good general guide to the history and wares of Shelley. Well illustrated, it includes plenty of examples of patterns, dates and other important information for collectors. The emphasis is on 20th century wares.

Schiffer Publishing publish several more specialised books on Shelley, including Shelley Tea Ware Patterns. This is the definitive reference guide to Shelley and Wileman tea wares - it has 248 pages, nearly 800 photos and numerically lists tea ware patterns from the early Wileman period (before the Shelley brand was conceived) through to 1966, when the factory closed. Well worth it for the serious collector or dealer.

Buy Collecting Shelley Pottery, by Robert Prescott-Walker on Amazon

Buy Shelley Tea Ware Patterns on Amazon

The SylvaC Illustrated Collectors Handbook by Anthony Van Der Woerd The SylvaC Story: With Price Guide by Susan Jean Verbeek

SylvaC Pottery

SylvaC Animals, by Mick and Derry Collins There are several books about SylvaC available currently. The two most comprehensive general reference guides are The SylvaC Illustrated Collectors Handbook by Anthony Van Der Woerd and The SylvaC Story: With Price Guide by Susan Jean Verbeek.

If you are looking for a specialist guide to SylvaC animals only, then SylvaC Animals, by Mick and Derry Collins, is the definitive guide. Mick and Derry run the SylvaC Collectors Club in the UK and are extremely passionate and knowledgeable SylvaC collectors.

Buy The SylvaC Illustrated Collectors Handbook by Anthony Van Der Woerd on Amazon

Buy The SylvaC Story: With Price Guide by Susan Jean Verbeek on Amazon

Buy SylvaC Animals, by Mick and Derry Collins on Amazon

Troika Ceramics of Cornwall by George Perrott

Troika Pottery

Relatively little has been published on the history of Troika Pottery. George Perrott's Troika Ceramics of Cornwall is the best available book on the subject and includes useful guides to artists' marks and shapes. It does include price information, too, although this is inevitably somewhat out of date, as with many price guides.

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