Overview of Siam Sterling Nielloware

The Creation of a Reference Work

[Book Cover]
It has taken many years of work, not just of research and purchases, but learning the basic skills of photography, design, printing and binding, even personal economics, to create "Overview of Siam Sterling Nielloware."

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!

So in 1995 I began organizing my collection, creating an outline for my book, and attempting to determine how many more items I would need to purchase (or borrow) to amass a "representative collection" of Siam sterling Nielloware. I also did weekly searches of the Web, of Internet newsgroups, and visits to libraries for further information. I had a collection of almost 200 items, and expected to need about another 200 to span the varieties of these items.

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.

So, now, after 6 printings of the first two editions of "Overview", I've published a third edition, with improved layout, new covers, new professional binding, updated pricing matrix, and additional pictures (as well as "new finds"). And I've kept the price at $18.95.

And finally, I want to thank all of you for your interest, and to request feedback! If you have any information which you feel I should include in my next edition, please write!

Book rate, US - Only $18.95 plus $3.50 S&H
(Total $22.45)

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!

You can reach me, Charles Dittell, by e-mail at: (Charles Dittell)

Return to Siam Sterling Nielloware Home Page
Copyright © 2004-2013 Charles Dittell