From the Antique Pocket Guides series - a useful series for the collector of small antiques. Collecting small antiques can be of absorbing interest, partly because of items are easy to display and partly because they can be found in a great variety of places, including antique shops, public auctions, bric-a-brac stalls, jumble sales and flea-markets. Each title in this new series is written by an expert in his or her chosen subject. There is a wealth of practical advice to help the novice over any initial hurdles, guidance on prices and over 100 illustrations to help with identification. Each book could lead the way to a remarkably satisfying hobby. The practice of decorating the hair itself, as distinct from the wearing of elaborate head-dress, first came into vogue in the second half of the 16th century. It became the custom for upper class women to wear little or not head-covering, and to adorn their complex coiffures with decorative accessories. The collecting of these accessories today is a relatively unexplored field and, so far, little has been written about them. The accessories covered here date from the mid-18th century up to about 1940. Ornaments of an earlier date are museum pieces now, and outside the scope of the average collector. Likewise, the emphasis here is not on priceless diamond tiaras, but on ornaments of a more modest nature. Primary jewels, set with diamonds and valuable stones, were designed to serve through several generations, and were mostly conservative in design. Those in lest costly materials could be more innovative, reflecting changing tastes and new discoveries. They were not intended to last beyond the immediate fashion. Nevertheless, many have survived in excellent condition, and are widely available to the present-day collector.
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