Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book Review--Warman's Civil War Collectibles

Lewis, Russell E. Warman's Civil War Collectibles 3rd Edition. Krause Publications, Iola, WI. 2009. 399 pages, color photos, glossary, bibliography, index. ISBN 9781440203749, $32.99.

For many of us who have an interest in the Civil War our interest goes beyond reading about generals, or campaigns, or battles, to having a desire to own pieces related to a particular battle or an ancestor's regiment.

Unfortunately many of these items are costly and for many out of the budget. This is where a good general guide like this can be a Godsend. While prices are out of date before any price guide hits the shelves what a book like this can do is help novice collectors learn to focus and give collecting ideas. While a $1,000 and up musket may be out of the question this guide can show that there are related items out there that have a tie in. Can't afford the gun right now? How about collecting the many kinds of bullets available instead? For a much more reasonable cost Civil War aficionados can still feel a connection. Can't afford an officer's frock coat, try collecting buttons instead.

The book is broken down into many chapters such as belt buckles and plates, buttons, bullets and projectiles, ephemera, photos, guns (in all their varieties), medical items, and many more. Each chapter is loaded with color photos and price information that comes from various auction houses and military antique dealers. Also included is a brief outline on the subject and collecting hints pro and con.

With around 1,400 color photos, a nice bibliography for further research, a glossary of  terms and a large listing of professional dealers this seems to be an ideal book for those interested in "collecting" the Civil War.

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