American Furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1. Early Colonial Period by Frances Safford
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has what is perhaps the greatest collection of American furniture in the country. This book is a comprehensive study of the furniture in that collection from the early colonial period, the 17th Century and William & Mary periods (early 18th Century). This book is unequivocally the best book available on American furniture of this period. It is lavishly produced and rigorously written. Besides the pictures of furniture, there are pages just comparing various construction and form details which make this book invaluable to those of us who reproduce furniture. This book only just arrived last week (it is Nov. 1 as I write this.), and it is already one of my top 5 furniture books. Give it time and it might move up!
The Metropolitan Museum’s preeminent collection of early colonial furniture is expertly documented in this long-awaited publication. It covers the full spectrum of furniture forms made during the 17th and early 18th centuries—from chairs and other seating to tables, boxes, various types of chests and cupboards, and desks. Each of the 141 objects is thoroughly described with detailed information on provenance, construction, condition, inscriptions, dimensions, and materials. Photographed anew in color for this volume, each piece is explicated in terms of the styles and craftsmanship of the period and is evaluated in light of comparative pieces in public and private collections throughout the country. One appendix contains photographic details of construction and decorative elements, and another has drawings of joints and moldings.