Everything you need to know about antiques
By Cynthia Billhartz Gregorian
The Kansas City Star
As much as I admire antiques, I know almost nothing about them. But I felt a smidge smarter when the latest edition of Millers Antiques Encyclopedia ($50, Octopus Publishing) landed on my desk.
I can now inform everyone I meet that cooks and confectioners molded small, detailed figurines in sugar, wax or gum before the German company Meissen began to render them in porcelain during the 1730s.
Ill be able to enthrall people at cocktail parties with historical tidbits such as how the British Parliament taxed clocks hanging in taverns for about nine months in 1797. And those who own bachelors chest will soon learn that the popular design was usurped by the more fashionable French commode during the mid-18th century.
The encyclopedia encompasses changes in the market since the 2008 edition. It covers a wide swath, ranging from Gothic sofas to 20th century Barbie dolls. According to Octopus Publishing, while its indispensable to industry professionals and collectors, it is also accessible to beginners. Id agree with that.