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Synopsis

This superb guide informs the reader on how to identify and discover the most gorgeous furniture ever to grace Europe and North America.


With intense descriptions steeped in history and experience, this book brings the time tested expertise of its author - New England based antique dealer and specialist Thomas M. Clark - to the table in a world beating display of descriptive finesse and passion. Objects from chairs to beds to tables to cabinets are described in detail, with their making and prominence properly placed in the context of their time and place of manufacture. This text comprehensively covers a period spanning the 17th through 19th centuries - the era in which furniture making ascended to a quality which is in many respects unequalled to this day. 

The author aims to arouse interest and natural passion by including anecdotes of the time, having researched and sourced poignant quotes and vignettes from the times in which these pieces emerged freshly worked from quality wood. Together with informing the reader about the pieces themselves, most of the items described are accompanied by detailed illustrations. 

Several of the best known furniture manufacturers are represented here, from Chippendale to Happlewhite to Sheraton, while the significance of styles to have emerged during the reign of certain European monarchs is also noted. Where the USA is concerned, the Colonial styles emerging during the expansion of the colonies prior to the Declaration of Independence is 

The latter portion of the text acknowledges the steady advancement and elaboration of musical instruments and clocks, which were from the 17th century onwards ever commoner sights in the homes of the affluent and wealthy. Their increasing sophistication, embodied in the intricacy of their appearance and design, is also well reflected in the text. 

Finally, the book turns to the important matter of furniture feet, handles and other extremities, which this comment by the author covers: 

"...on the final pages: the handles, feet and other extremities of furniture are often the most pivotally differentiated parts. A keen collector and seller of antique furnishings must develop an obsessive scrutiny of these: they represent the portions most vulnerable to damage, to overzealous polishing, or forgery by the unscrupulous. If you aspire to purchase or trade in items, do not forget the details in this finale." 

Whether you are seeking to buy or sell a piece of antique furniture, or are merely interested in learning the particulars or advancing your place as a dealer in such treasured artefacts, A Masterclass in Antique Furniture will see you informed while fostering a deep appreciation of crafting talent which continues to awe and impress.

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