|Review by poopiekat||posted 02-01-2012 01:44 AM||1975 views||0 times favorited||4 comments|
There is, of course, so-called price guides for just about every field of collecting, from comic books to Staffordshire pottery. Problem is, some categories of collecting lend themselves to well-sorted, organized price guide publications and some do not. For example, American coins…there are a few guides which list EVERY US coin, I mean every year, and grade (condition) with reliable common retail prices. Easy! Has anyone ever attempted to list every tool ever made? Nope, it’s too much of an undertaking, and such a book would have to be SO comprehensive to make it worth owning that it would be too big for your bookshelf.
This ‘Warman’s Tools Field Guide’ attempts to condense 200 years of tools into one small book of 500 pages. Gotta say, it just doesn’t work! What they’ve done is take some fanciful auction prices with an attached picture, and with minimal information present it to us with the hammer price. This doesn’t work! This edition touts a ‘New! Stanley tools chapter’ but it surely would disappoint any Stanley collector. I’ve concluded that this guide is not a reliable reference book, for Stanley tools at least, because I see Stanley items on eBay with similar descriptions go for far less.
Perhaps this is where the incentive comes from, people paying stratospheric prices for common tools? Perhaps this where bizarre prices comes from at antiques shows and shops?
When somebody markets a guide that is comprehensive enough that it may be used for identifying Stanley planes in their respective permutations over the years, and what to pay for them with respect to their condition, I will certainly be interested! But using this guide is the equivalent to appraising your rusty ‘69 Camaro in the back yard by watching Barret-Jackson auctions! It just doesn’t work, and will surely mislead you if this is your sole source of reference. Observing eBay activity is a far better gauge of the value of tools, and the amount of bidders an item has is as good an indicator of value as the final price. (yeah, there’s a few pitfalls there as well, which I’d like to highlight… later. I didn’t find much value in this book, which is the reason for the 2 stars. Anyone trying to build on their base of knowledge should skip this book until they have collected some other sources by which they can compare, in my humble opinion.
-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!