Field Guide to American Antique Furniture: A Unique Visual System for Identifying the Style of Virtually Any Piece of American Antique Furniture

Front Cover
With 1,700 superb drawings, "Field Guide to American Antique Furniture" breaks new ground in the decorative arts: For the first time, the subtle differences in American furniture styles are clearly illustrated through the use of a unique visual system. In fact, the information is presented so clearly that even the neophyte can identify immediately the style of any piece of furniture, from seventeenth-century examples to the Arts and Crafts furniture of the early twentieth century.

American furniture is classified by the period in which it was crafted and by the region where it originated, clues to which are revealed in the line, carving, construction, and materials of the piece. In this book, the illustrations are systematically organized by type of furniture, period, style, and region of origin, providing an easy, logical method of sorting out the critical features and details needed to identify any individual item. The captions for the pictures underscore the distinctive features of each piece.

A concise illustrated history of American furniture serves as an introduction to this important book so that the reader can place the rest of the information within a broad historical context. A glossary and diagrams of furniture parts provide a quick reference to the terms used throughout the book. Finally, a detailed index makes it possible to locate any term, style or cabinetmaker included in the book.

"Field Guide to American Antique Furniture" is an indispensable handbook and reference book for students and scholars, for dealers and connoisseurs, and for both new and seasoned collectors.


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Over 1700 of Skibinski's line drawings present a visual approach to the identification of antique furnishings. The book is arranged in chronological sequences (17th century through the early 20th ... Read full review


The Gothic and Elizabethan Revival Styles
The Louis XVI Revival Style
Exotic and Eclectic
Sources of the Furniture Illustrated

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About the author (1986)

Since 1957, Joseph T. Butler has served as curator of the Sleepy Hollow Restorations in Tarrytown, New York. The author of numerous books, he was also the American editor of The Connoisseur and an Adjunct Professor of Architecture at Columbia University.

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