FIELD GUIDE TO EARLY AMERICAN FURNITURE by Thomas Ormsbee

FIELD GUIDE TO EARLY AMERICAN FURNITURE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It is almost impossible to assess the value of this book from the text alone; its practicality rests so largely on the 300-odd pictures for which we have here only the descriptive text. The introductory chapters give a quick view of the eight style periods. Whether he feels that it is unnecessary to differentiate between the European heritage and the American development -- or whether he assumes that for purposes of identification, he supplies enough to go on, does not come out clearly. He divides his selected pieces of furniture into ten main categories. In his concise descriptive text, virtually expanded captions, he indicates the wood, construction details, decorative design, hardware, size -- and in a sort of shorthand code suggests comparative values. One of the most interesting parts of his book deals with fundamentals in determining authenticity- and conversely detecting fakes. With his predictable style periods he includes sections on Pennsylvania Dutch, Shaker, and Primitive styles. Granted successful illustrative material, this should be a very useful handbook for the amateur on the prowl for coveted antiques.

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 1950
Publisher: Little, Brown