If you find this book lying on someone's coffee table, don't pick it up--you'll be hooked! I am not an aficionado of trade cards, but I found this book to be endlessly fascinating. Cheadle wisely keeps his writing to a minimum, letting the illustrations speak for themselves-- page after page. I know of no book that is more intriguing just to page through. Henry Kort (email@example.com)
Vastly illustrated and very informative. Although the majority of this book is pictures (very nice ones at that), there are some very interesting facts and historical information about the victorian card craze. Because there are in excess of 100,000 different cards in existance, don't expect to find every card in here or the current market price. It is just a matter of time before a more extensive guide is published, (I would still recommend because of the great illustrations!) The only problem I have with this book is the layout which can be annoying if you are trying to find info on one of your cards. You have to search through several sections of the book. (e.g. Jackson's chewing tobbaco card in the "Exploration and Travel" chapter instead of the "Tobbaco" chapter). More expensive cards are usually only discussed in the chapter rather than illustrated, which I find kind of strange(Maybe he didn't own any of those to get the photo?).
This is a great book. It's a definitive reference on the somewhat obscure subject of Victorian Trade Cards, but for those of us who love them, it's a feast. It is crammed with illustrations, broken into categories, and contains history and collecting tips. The pricing information is somewhat out of date, due to the impact that online auctions have had on these collectables (some are more expensive, some less, as auctions make them more available.) If you're at all a fan of this genre, don't hesitate to buy this book!
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