American Furniture of the 18th Century is in my opinion one of the best period furniture books that is available. It’s an affordable buy in most cases on the second hand market, and I believe it’s the kind of book that will stand you in good stead for years to come. Its 311 pages long and is written by Jeffrey P Greene, on the second hand market you should be able to pick this up for around $30.
Its a large coffee table book format the book covers off a lot of information, and I am sometimes overwhelmed trying to process and categorize it all. I’d suggest that it’s the kind of book that you will read, and reread as you progress through your woodworking career. The kind of reference book that you’ll refer back to when faced with a problem – but also the kind you’ll pick up a few times a decade and re-read in front of the fire – wondering how you missed all those gems on previous readings.
I believe it will evolve and keep pace with your growth in skills and provide a good starting point for any investigation into a particular form. I could possibly rank this book in terms of history techniques and projects. But I think it’s fairer to simply give it a top ranking in the category good all round books – this book is the benchmark against which I would evaluate future books dealing with different styles.
As I run my eye over the bookshelf, its easy to see how a book from the Shaker Encyclopaedia to Cottage Furniture in South Africa, The pine furniture of Early New England or World Furniture could all be held against this book and their quality judged accordingly. I’d heartily recommend you get a copy if you can find one at a decent price.
Join me on the show as I review it, and then listen to a great interview with Shannon Rogers as we discuss it further.