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A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times, Together with Some Closely Related Subjects by George Cameron Stone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one weighty tome. Originally published in 1934, this book is a hefty 700 page encyclopedia of weaponry and armor with a few other related topics, such as falconry. It focuses largely on Japan and Europe, but has a fair amount of information on the rest of the world. I read it cover to cover over a long period of time, but it is probably more sane to use it as a reference book.
Of course it is a product of its time, and as such has some understandable shortcomings. The illustrations, for instance, would not pass muster in any more recent work. The descriptive text more than makes up for this, however.
My only other minor quibble is that the book can get a bit too bogged down in minutiae, especially with regard to the many Japanese entries. Though to be sure, I would much rather have th…