This well-known reference work has been consulted by generations of collectors, curators, dealers, historians, and craftsmen, and it remains in use decades after its initial publication. Photographs and measured drawings of the most striking furniture pieces of the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries constitute the major part of the book; the accompanying text indicates stylistic features and developments, prototypes, types of wood, function, and location of the original.
Selected mainly from collections in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design, the objects include chests, tables, chairs, dressing tables, desks, highboys, commodes, couches, and other furniture. Periods and styles include Colonial American, Duncan Phyfe, Windsor, Sheraton, Hepplewhite, Chippendale, Louis XIV, eighteenth-century Dutch, sixteenth-century Italian, and representatives of other eras. The book's most outstanding features are the measured drawings for each piece of furniture. Accurate to the nearest 1/16th of an inch, these drawings are especially valuable for woodworkers creating detailed replicas.
First published as Masterpieces of Furniture Design, Periodical Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1931. First published by Dover in 1953 with the new title, Masterpieces of Furniture in Photographs and Measured Drawings. Reprinted by Dover in 1974 (the Third Edition) with a new Preface. The 2015 Dover edition is a reprint of the Dover 1974 Third Edition.