Book Review

The Crown Top Book, German Porcelain Perfume Bottles, 1920-1939
By Pauline E. Turco

Reviewed by Lenore Worth Hiers

The Crown Top Book, German Porcelain Perfume Bottles, 1920-1939

This wonderful book deals exhaustively with the specialty collecting area stated in its title. Pauline Turco, long time member of the International Perfume Bottle Association, has spent years researching her specialty and graciously shares this knowledge with the world.

Chapter 1 delves primarily into the political climate and events which gave rise to the creation of crown tops, and then follows through until their demise with the beginning of World War II. This fascinating detailed recap of an era adds a dimension of interest to the subject and is illustrated with current events posters, ads, photos, etc.

Chapter 2 defines what crown tops are; where and how they were made. Included are catalog pages from various import companies. Photos show different types of stoppers and different sizes of bottles. The countries producing these were Germany (primarily), Japan, and possibly The Netherlands. Detailed descriptions of their creation and information on the various stoppers (cork, metal, mercury glass, and atomizers) , as well as discussion of labels and stamps, mistaken country attribution and souvenir bottles are all included and extensively illustrated.

Chapter 3 discusses in depth 14 German makers and their marks, with numerous pages of catalogs and accompanying photographs of actual bottles.

Chapter 4 is critical information for the serious collector. It deals with reissues, reproductions, fantasies and imposters and describes each term in detail. Most collectors have fallen victim to one or more of these types, which makes this research so informative not only for collectors but for dealers as well. Examples of each type are discussed and illustrated.

Chapter 5 is the picture gallery with over 1,250 bottles divided into ten categories (animals, children, combos, flasks, ladies, men, mythology & religion, objects, the Orient, clowns & carnival girls). This comprises more than half of the book. Not only are the lovely pictures categorized and captioned, but scattered throughout are sidebars with detailed historical information about the subject matter of a particular bottle.

And then just to crown (pardon the pun) this wonderful book, also included is a suggested value guide for the entire picture gallery. If this area of collecting interests you, there is no question you could ask which is not answered herein. Thank you, Pauline.