Furnishing the collector's bookcase

September 06, 1992|By Linda Rosenkrantz | Linda Rosenkrantz,Copley News Service

There are several new books on antique furniture, with an emphasis on the durable oak pieces that have been in favor with buyers and collectors since the late 19th century.

First of all, there is the three-volume "American Oak Furniture, Styles and Prices" by Robert W. and Harriett Swedberg (Wallace-Homestead, an imprint of Chilton Book Co.).

Volume I is, in essence, a tour through an oak-filled Victorian home, room by room, from the entry hall, with its hall trees, mirrors and benches, to the bedrooms, with their beds, bureaus and washstands.

Volumes II and II continue the documentation of the forms and styles of oak furniture, each with 500 black-and-white photographs and a color insert, and include such decorative objects as music boxes and spice cabinets, as well as the expected cabinetwork and seat furniture. Current market values are given for each item.

"The Regional Arts of the Early South" by John Bivins Jr. and Forsyth Alexander (published by the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Winston-Salem, N.C., and distributed by the University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, N.C.) is an unusually informative catalog documenting highlights of the museum's extensive collection of furniture and decorative objects made in Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee before 1821, much of it displayed in period rooms.

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