The Creation of a Reference Work
In 1995, I had just finished reading the one other (privately printed) book on Nielloware, "Siam Sterling Nielloware," by J.J. Kellner, privately published in 1993. My first reaction was, "I can do MUCH better than this!"
It's easy to criticize others, and my rather harsh criticism of the book was based on my already burgeoning knowledge of this esoteric area. My criticism focused on the very limited information on the sources of these items, the narrow range and mediocre quality of photographed items, and the (IMHO) wildly high prices listed (for example, $30 to $40 for a common, narrow Nielloware bracelet).
And now, after completing the first edition of "Overview," I must retract a good deal of that criticism. My photography is only slightly better, my layout and design leave something to be desired, and although I've learned quite a bit on the background, both cultural and business-related, of these items, I now appreciate the difficulties in obtaining this information.
I also understand how difficult Nielloware pricing was in those days before the World Wide Web, although I still believe that Kellner's pricing was quite high...but how would any one pre-Web person know which items were relatively common and which rare? Even now, I can go to an antiques show and find a $20 Nielloware ring for $85. I've found a $25 lighter for $85, a $65 wide bracelet for $125, a shiny pair of common $6 earrings for $20! Sellers have had little basis for pricing these items, at least up to now!
I was wrong. I needed over 1,000 items, and I'm still missing a few "important" items (such as cocktail shakers, urns, and some others).
It took almost 7 years, and during this time I was also able to find some relevant literature on these items, as well as some wonderful people who shared their information with me.
As I progressed, I had some interesting learning experiences. For example, I went to a local printer for a price quote on 100 copies of my book. The quote: $5,200! After searching the web for book pricing information, I read that a book price should be FIVE times the cost of publishing! Well, that works out to a retail price of $260 per book! So, much of my time over the last few years was to find ways to reduce the publishing costs of "Overview." The best I've been able to do so far is about $10 per book. And since I want "Overview" to be affordable to all collectors, I've set the price at $18.95, plus a reasonable cost for shipping.
Book rate, US - Only $18.95 plus $3.50 S&H
The Perfect Gift!
Sorry, no international orders
(too many lost shipments)
Overseas parties, be aware that
Survey of Siam Sterling Nielloware, the E-BOOK,
is now available at most e-bookstores!
Click here for E-Bookstore! list!
Or pay by personal check or money order
(must wait to clear).
Overview of Siam Sterling Nielloware: including over 400 Siam sterling Nielloware (and related) illustrations!
with less pictures ("only" 100+) but the same text. (Click here for link to E-Bookstores)
You can reach me, Charles Dittell, by e-mail at: (Charles Dittell)