I liked it. This book was written back in the 1920's, ergo the author was much closer in time to the age of sail. In the 20's a book with a handful of pictures was considered lavishly illustrated. Much information back then was conveyed in line drawings, in some ways much superior to the visual bombardment of a photograph. The first time I read it the book was a bit hard to follow. The second time I slowed down and really absorbed what the author was conveying. Doing so the book makes much more sense informationally.
In essence the author describes general decorative design trends. I came away with the understanding that, decoratively speaking, it is difficult the precisely date any given feature. There was quite a bit of overlap regarding vessels in service with respect to vessel age. Additionally, any changes in ship design were embraced by the builders rather slowly. So, if one is intent upon determining if, for instance, that gun port wreaths vanished at a specific date, you will learn that they died out slowly as vessels aged and went out of srvice. Of course the infamous 1703 order does impact subsequent ship decorative allowances.
As the book spans sveral centuries it was not possible to provide comprehensive detail regarding specific ships other than as references for particular details. To extensivly detail individual ships would require a catalog of ships, which would quite probably collapse our bookshelves.
I found the detailed drawings delightfully informative. In general the author displays a comprehensive knowledge of shipboard decoration spanning several centuries. Today we would be hardpressed to find anyone as well versed.
For ship modeling this book made me realize that I am able to enjoy some latitude in decoration decisions, a luxury steel ship models do not get to enjoy. Your dollars will be well spent on this publication, provided you really take the time to grasp what the author is delivering.