The Furniture Styles: Design from Elizabeth I to Art Nouveau

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Jeremy Mills Publishing, 2007 - Design - 208 pages
2 Reviews
Originally published in 1904, Herbert Binstead's history of furniture design covers styles from Elizabethan times to Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts movement. This new paperback edition is illustrated throughout with detailed black and white drawings, and will appeal to anyone with an interest in furniture, design or art history.

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I own a copy of this book which is an American version published in 1909 by the Trade Periodical Company of Chicago. It is an interesting book to read, especially the latter chapters which deal with Art Nouveau, British New Art, and Mission furniture. The book shown in this digitization, however, is not what it not purports to be. This digitized edition is clearly from the 1930's, which is evident from chapter 13 (XII) on page 168. The chapter is on "The Modern Style." When the author defends his previous writing on Art Nouveau in the first sentences of the chapter, he writes, "The writer sees no reason to modify what he wrote on this subject a quarter century ago." The furniture illustrated in chapter 13 is Art Deco, and the text supports that date.
I could accept citing of a 1904 edition of this book as an oversight, but there are numerous other deletions from the preview that are suspicious. For example, the original title page is not included in the edition. The list of illustrations is truncated after page 131, random pages are seemingly needlessly omitted in the relevant chapters, and the book's subtitle "Design from Elizabeth I to Art Nouveau" should not include a chapter on "The Modern Style" at all. Also, the existing five star rating for this book appears to be a promotion. With a purchase price of nearly $300 on Amazon, this makes me wonder whether JM Classic Editions has been honest about the date of their version and whether it was actually in the public domain for digitization. I hope this is all simply an error on the publisher's part, but for research purposes, it is an egregious error.
 

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