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Suggested Reading

An educated antique collector is an avid antique collector. We are constantly looking for the best reading materials. Some books are excellent, while others leave you less impressed. Below we've put together a list of our favorite books. They make great gifts too!

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The Art of the Game
A Collection of Vintage Game Boards

by Tim Chambers

For those of you who know me, you know my passion is game boards. This book is one of the best I've ever seen on the topic. The vivid photos take you through Shelby Shaver's collection of eclectic game boards of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The graphic, colorful and detailed examples provide a delight to the eye and the details enable you to understand just what makes a particular game board exceptional. This table top book, measuring 12" x 12", is over 200 pages of the highest quality color photos. The Art of the Game is only available for purchase from a few select places and in limited quantities. I am pleased to be able to offer it to you. Please email me if you would like to purchase it.

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No Longer Hidden:
An Exhibit of Black Cloth Dolls Catalogue

by Patch Hatch and Robin Chambers

My very dear friend, Pat Hatch, of Harvard Antiques in Harvard, MA exhibited a large part of her special black cloth doll collection at the Harvard Historical Society in Still River, MA. Please take a moment to view the exhibit's website at We were fortunate that Pat loaned this exhibit to the California Country Antique & Folk Art Show in Costa Mesa, March 21-22, 2009. These incredible dolls were amazing to view. In addition to a great catalogue, other items such as note cards are also for purchase along at the Historical Society, through the mail, or on-line.

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Animals in American Folk Art

by Wendy Lavitt

An old but good book! It celebrates animals in painting, sculpture and utilitarian objects from the eighteenth century to the present. Showcasing a large selection with color images and descriptions, they have been selected from private and public collections across the country.

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Amish Abstractions: Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown

by Joe Cunningham, Robert Shaw, Janneken Smucker

Published in conjunction with the exhibition organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Amish Abstractions: Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown explores the origins, techniques, and context of these visual masterpieces. More than seventy-five quilts originating in communities throughout Pennsylvania and the Midwest from the 1880s to the 1940s are presented with contributions by three quilt experts: Joe Cunningham, a well-known quilt artist, author, and lecturer; Robert Shaw, an independent curator of numerous quilt exhibitions; and Janneken Smucker, a doctoral candidate at the University of Delaware specializing in quilts from the Amish and Mennonite traditions. More than 90 images .

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Women's Painted Furniture, 1790-1830: American Schoolgirl Art

by Betsy Krieg Salm

Betsy Krieg Salm rediscovers a style of early American decorative art still largely unknown to curators, antique dealers, art historians, and the public. She documents the socioeconomic, cultural, and aesthetic history of the form, which includes such items as sewing and work boxes, face screens, and tables. Salm carefully chronicles the process itself, describing a selection of cabinetmakers, woods, varnishes, and paints, along with the specific tools and techniques used by women artists. Examining more than two hundred pieces, the author treats these objects as documents of women's daily lives; she shows the close relationship between painted furniture motifs and those of needlework and other decorative arts of the period. Lots of images.

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American Baskets: A Cultural History of a Traditional Domestic Art

by Robert Shaw (author) and Ken Burris (photographer)

Understanding the history and cultural origins of basket-making techniques is the first step in a collector's or an enthusiast's appreciation of fine vintage or contemporary baskets. This book is an introduction to the major American basketry traditions and a good place to start reading. Deftly weaving together cultural, religious, and personal histories and geographic and environmental influences on the craft, Shaw traces the development of the many distinct native traditions including Aleuts, Cherokees, Shakers, Taconic Mountains in New York, Nantucket in Pennsylvania, Appalachia, and African American in the SouthEast. Full color photos with excellent captions make a great reference.

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Salt-glazed Stoneware in Early America

by Janine E. Skerry and Suzanne Findlen Hood

This brand new book (published in Novemeber 2009) specifically on salt-glazed stoneware is an excellent, comprehensive book exploring the unique characteristics and crosscurrents running through this rich genre of ceramic history. More then 300 photos are presented. Drawing on archaeological and documentary sources, the book chronicals the traditions of stoneware imported from England and Germany as well as American potters during the eighteenth century. A wonderful new reference book!

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Treasures of Folk Art: The Museum of American Folk Art

by Barbara Cate and Lee Kogan

Celebrating the exuberance and variety of folk art, this Tiny Folio presents the museum's finest examples from colonial times to the present. Created by self-taught artists, the works in this book include paintings, sculpture, weather vanes, decoys, painted furniture, quilts, and more. 340 full-color illustrations.

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American Folk Art for Kids: With 21 Activities

by Richard Panchyk

What a great way to introduce the next greneration to love antiques and folk art! The author introduces young readers to folk art, which he contrasts with "academic art," works created by formally trained artists. Chapters focusing on specific artistic forms, such as paintings, textiles, and furniture, are followed by well-chosen activities, most of which are art projects that use typical folk art materials. The inclusion of "kids" in the title may scare off older readers, but there's a wealth of information and clearly defined artistic terms that will easily support middle- and high-school reports.

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Country Living: American Metalware What Is It? What Is It Worth?

by Joe L. Rosson and Helaine Fendelman

This guide to American metalware captures the magnificence of metal creations including silver, iron, tin, brass, and pewter. Professional antiques appraisers Joe Rosson and Helaine Fendelman reveal the fascinating histories and market values of dozens of rare items, from Colonial-era firebacks to mechanical banks, from heirloom tea sets to antique weather vanes.

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Gather Up the Fragments: The Andrews Shaker Collection

by Mario S. De Pillis and Christian Goodwillie

Edward Deming Andrews and his wife, Faith Young Andrews, in 1923 embarked on collecting Shaker items, at a time when the art and artifacts of the Shakers were considered “low” art and unworthy of collecting or exhibiting. The Andrewses energetically collected objects, studied sources, and eventually mounted exhibits and published books on Shaker culture. This beautiful book is the first to document their unparalleled collection, presenting some 600 photographs, most never before published. In addition, the book brings to light the extraordinary story of the Andrewses’ collecting and scholarship, their relationships with members of the United Society of Believers (commonly called Shakers) and with important New York City art-world figures of the 1930s, as well as their contributions toward the birth of the field of Shaker Studies.

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Rug Hooking In Maine: 1838-1940

by Mildred Cole Peladeau

This fresh and scholarly look at a century of rug hooking in Maine demonstrates the significant role non-woven rugs have played in American decorative arts. True Waldoboro rugs are explored in detail and the myth of "Acadian" rugs is explained. This lavishly illustrated book has over 250 color photographs that highlight the extraordinary story of rugs created throughout Maine and eastern Canada, including popular maritime designs by men of the seas..

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American Quilts & Coverlets in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

by Amelia Peck

American Quilts and Coverlets is the ultimate book on historical Quilts in America. Featuring over 150 outstanding examples and beautifully designed with stunning color illustrations, the book spotlights the Metropolitan Museum of Art's growing collection of our nation's finest and most comprehensive assemblage of traditional American quilts. From wonderful 18th century quilts and extraordinary Amish work to an exceptional 1856 quilt containing hundreds of signatures of important Americans - including seven U.S. presidents, this book gives the reader an even greater understanding and admiration of quilting as Americana.

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Folk Art in America: A Personal View

by Adele Earnest

Through her text and illustrations, Adele Earnest acquaints the reader with folk art masterpieces and some of the artists who created them. She relates the history of the folk art movement in America and the founding of the Museum of American Folk Art. She reminisces about those early collectors who blazed a place for folk art in the art world: Henry Francis duPont, Electra Havemeyer Webb, Titus Geesey, and the flamboyant Mme.Gamma Walska, to name but a few.

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Folk Art in Maine: Uncommon Treasures 1750-1925

by Kevin D. Murphy

Folk art proves that producing utilitarian objects can provide an opportunity for self-expression. From decoys to sea chests, folk art is not only rooted in the useful but in the realities of living. Some folk art makes daily chores more fun, while others, such as mourning art, help people face life's saddest occasions. This volume is an introduction for the novice and a treasure for the collector.

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A Guide to the Artifacts of Colonial America

by Ivor Noel Hume

This guide was originally published more than thirty years ago but it still remains a highly referenced handbook for professional archaeologists, museum curators, antiques dealers and collectors. It is a most useful and accurate reference on the identification of artifacts recovered from British colonial sites. This book contains forty-three categories including buttons, cutlery, stoneware, and firearms.

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Instant Expert: Collecting American Folk Art

by Helaine Fendelman and Susan Kleckner

This book is a bit different then other folk art books that show pictures and prices. Instead, it compares objects and explains why one is a better explain then another one. This helps the reader to become better exducated. It also highlights how to navigate the marketplace, museums, publications, shows, collecting groups and conservation sources.

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100 American Flags: A Unique Collection of Old Glory Memorabilia

by Kit Hinrichs amd Delphine Hirasuna

This vibrant collection of 100 Stars and Stripes artifacts ranges from Civil War-era banners and Native American braided moccasins to an early 20th-century "friendship" kimono and original flag art by several of the world's leading designers. Kit's collection and the wonderful photos of the items continues to impress in his latest book.

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The Farmhouse Book

by David Larkin

From the New England saltbox to the Pennsylvania Dutch, from the southern colonial to the western ranch, the American farmhouse is an icon of our history and our traditions of hearth and home, an architectural entity in and of itself, as well as a highly coveted retreat for country dwellers. A practical guide to choosing and living in a farmhouse is provided. More than two hundred photographs and drawings capture the essence of the American farmhouse in all of its charming, rustic glory.

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Amish: The Art of the Quilt

by Robert Hughes (author), Julie Silber (curator/commentator)

This coffee table book captures images and descriptions of Amish quilts from the Espirit quilt collection. The stunning images capture the true works of art of these quilts. All were conceived and stitched by women of Lancaster County, PA between 1870 and 1950.

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Folk Hearts

by Cynthia V.A. Schaffner and Susan Klein

A Celebration of the Heart Motif in American Folk Art is the subtitle of this older, wonderful book that celebrates the heart in over 150 photographs. Here are hearts embellishing everything from a family tree to a face-powder box, from samplers to scrimshaw, from weather vanes to valentines...the heart motif in American country furnishings, folk crafts, textiles, sculpture, kitchen implements, and the countless variety of love tokens. Captions and commentary complete this beautiful album of folk hearts.

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Vintage Cottages

by Molly Hyde English, photograhs by Tom Lamb

Vintage Cottages features unique and personalized decor focused on second homes and retreats with a vintage cottage theme. These places are filled with art, books, color, scents, textures and memories that link to life's experiences, relationships and hopes. Vintage Cottages shows how to "come home" to a serene retreat that's unlike anything else.

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Ceramics in America 2007

by Rob Hunter

Ceramics in America is a series of books covering different early china and porcelain factories. This book, published in Oct 2007 focuses on the American China Factory which operated in Philadelphia from 1769 to 1772. Although only in operation a short time, it influenced the quality, design and manufacture for years to come. Gousse Bonnin and George Anthony Morris were the owners. The coffee-table sized book is extremely detailed in research and filled with great visuals.

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Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence
Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana

Edited by Jane Katcher, David A Schorsch, Ruth Wolfe
Photographed by Gavin Ashworth

Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence presents more than two hundred examples of American folk art and decorative arts created in the 18th and 19th centuries. Drawn from the extraordinary Jane Katcher Collection, the book features a wide array of some of the finest American folk art. A distinguished group of scholars discuss these objects within the context of historical, economic, and social issues as well as aesthetics. This book is over 400 pages of photos and text that delights and educates.

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Findings: The Material Culture of Needlework and Sewing

by Mary C. Beaudry

Using "findings" - pins, needles, thimbles, scissors, and other sewing accessories and tools - the author uncovers what these small traces of female experience reveal about the societies and cultures in which they were used. She examines sites in the United States and Great Britain, as well as Australia and Canada; ranging from the Middle Ages through the Industrial Revolution.

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Mocha and related dipped wares, 1770-1939

by Jonathan Rickard

This is the first book I've seen focused on mocha and other dipped wares. It covers the originas of mocha and the different styles based on various production techniques. From 18th century England into the twentieth century, mocha has a broad history as covered by Jonathan Rickard's more then 30 years of collecting and studying. There are many color and black & white photos with a detailed gloassary and bibliography.

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Antiques Investigators

by Judith Miller

The author is an antiques expert best known for her yearly price guides. In this book she shares the tips she uses to tell a genuine antique from a fake. From chairs to chests, ceramics to glass, and teddy bears to silverware she provides all the tools, techniques and tricks to spot a bona fide antique.

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In the Shaker Tradition

by Lesley Duvall

In the Shaker Tradition explores the aesthetics of the Shakers, focusing on the simple but beautiful pieces that add grace to homes today, as well as on the ways that Shaker design influenced later furniture-makers and craftspeople. Also discussed are the philosophies and religious beliefs that informed Shaker lifeways, and thus their architecture, furnishings, household objects, and even the colors of their floors and walls. Over 140 stunning photographs illustrate this book.

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Country Arts in Early American Homes

by Nina Fletcher Little

In this book, expert Nina Fletcher Little examines a wide variet of country arts that characterized early New England homes. From the beginnings of country folk art up until the mid-19th century, the author discusses architecture, landscapes, carvings, school-girl art, picture frames, flowers, small decorative objects and boxes, ceramics, fireboards, and rugs and carpets. This book is a delightful read with handsome illustrations.

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Neat and Tidy: Boxes and Their Contents Used in Early American Houses

by Nina Fletcher Little

For over 60 years Nina Fletcher Little collected and wrote about New England Antiques. In this particular book, she delightfully examines the boxes and their contentsused before the Civil War. What collector doesn't have at least some boxes? By examining the boxes within the context of social conditions at the times of their uses, she is able to be both informative and entertaining. For easy reference and learning, the boxes are grouped by four main types of use, each with subcategories.

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The Essential Grandma Moses

by Jan Kallir

Grandma Moses was a humble farm woman who taught herself to paint when she was in her 70s. This book places her in the context of other "self-taught" or "folk" artists, exploring why the art establishment first adored, then rejected and is now re-embracing her. Published in 2001, this introduction to her life and well-loved paintings coincides with the opening of a major exhibition of her work that originated at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

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American Redware

by William C., Jr. Ketchum

Great reference book on American Redware with excellent illustrations. A must have for the redware collector. This book is even referred to on the Smithsonian website!

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New Country Style

by Country Home Books

The wide variety of new country style is reviewed in this book by Country Home. The most current directions and forward looking trends in country style are identified. Divided into themes such as cottage, rustic, and eclectic, the book offers numerous color photographs accompanied by decorating tips. Each chapter concludes with the editors' advice on how to achieve each look.

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Country Living Seasons at Seven Gates Farm

by The Editors of Country Living

Seven Gates Farm is a rural 19th-century Maryland farmstead that is home, workplace and studio to James Cramer and Dean Johnson. This book explores the how the house, its gardens and James and Dean's projects change and evolve throughout the course of a single year. These two talented artists and craftsmen share their inspiring ideas for old-fashioned gardens, natural handcrafts, and homespun holiday celebrations in the country tradition.

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American Farmhouses
Country Style and Design

by Leah Rosch

Leah Rosch begins her book with the following statement: "Few history books capture the story of America's past as vividly as the farmhouses that fill our countryside." The stunning pictures in this book offer a rich and inspiring survey of country architecture and design, from painted funiture to porches, stenciling to saltbox houses. The major architectural and interior features of farmhouse design are reviewed with an explanation of the often pragmatic history that spurred their invention--how rooms were used, why materials were chosen. Stunning homes across the country are highlighted and a detailed sourcebook of manufacturers, craftsmen, and architectural antiques dealers nationwide is included.

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Country Decorating

by Jessie Walker

For those who want to create a classic country home that uses color, fabric, metal, wood, ceramics, and collectibles with flair, this is an absolute must. First and foremost, it’s breathtaking to look at, with amazing photography that captures everything from Painted Pleasure to Country Collections and provides design inspiration for spaces indoors and out. Pore over lovely displays of period style, with tall upholstered chairs and a vertical step-back cabinet; vibrant mixtures of color; charming details such as homespun fabric, hooked rugs, handmade quilts, and more. Walker also offers advice on decorating possibilities and on finding vintage treasures that amplify the rustic theme.

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American Hooked and Sewn Rugs
Folk Art Underfoot

by Joel and Kate Kopp

Hooked rugs are some of the finest examples of folk art. In 1974, the Kopps were guest curatos for the ground breaking eand very popular exhibit of hooked rugs held at the Museum of American Folk Art in New York. With over 250 illustations, the authors trace the development of the hooked rug from its origins in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century yarn-sewn bed rugs to twentieth-century examples of hooked rugs. This book will enhance your knowledge and delight your eye.

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Shaker Design

by June Sprigg

Classic Shaker that we all love at its best. Great large, boldly colored photos.

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Shaker Life, Work and Art

by June Sprigg and David Larkin

Author June Sprigg has lived and worked with the Shakers since 1972, and her text discusses their origins and beliefs, their work and daily life. More than 200 full-color photographs, taken especially for this book by Michael Freeman, richly illustrate their architecture, furniture, crafts, and inventions. The photographs were shot - almost entirely with available light - in the villages and museums in New England, New York, and Kentucky.

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Shaker Style
Form, Function, and Furniture

by Sharon Duane Koomler

Shaker Style is a lavishly illustrated and comprehensive survey of Shaker artifacts. Includes chapters on architecture, interiors, furnishings, textiles, and art. Looks at the history of the Shaker movemment and explains why these artisans took sucha profound pride in their work. Contains up-to-date information on where to obtain Shaker furnishings today.

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The Flowering of American Folk Art 1776-1876

by Jean Lipman and Alice Winchester

The quintessential guide to folk art in America, based on the landmark Whitney Museum exhibit of 1974, illustrates more than 400 outstanding examples of American craft, covering four major categories--painted, drawn, or stitched pictures; sculpture; architectural decoration; and decorated household objects. 400 b&w and full-color illustrations.

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American Quilt
A History of Cloth and Comfort 1750-1950

by Roderick Kiracofe

Beautifully illustrated with more than 250 stunnning examples of the quilter's art, The American Quilt is the first major work to examine quilts in their historical and cultural context, offering a richly detailed and evocative overview of America's best-loved folk art.

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American Coverlets & Their Weavers
Coverlets from the Collection of Foster and Muriel McCarl

by Clarita S. Anderson, Foster McCarl, Muriel McCarl

This book shows the McCarl private collection of American handwoven coverlets, including well-preserved examples created mostly in the Middle Atlantic states, Ohio, and Indiana between the 1810s and the 1860s. The McCarl collection was on display in Colonial Williamsburg during 2002 and 2003. The coverlets, of a type known as fancy and figured coverlets, feature elaborate patterns incorporating such images as flowers, foliage, animals, government buildings, and patriotic scenes. Names of the weaver and client and the date and place of production are frequently woven into the corner blocks. This book presents close to 60 coverlets in full-page photographs showing their front sides, with close-up photographs of their corner blocks and a page of text for each coverlet, explaining the design motifs and summarizing what is known about the weaver. Almost half of the book is devoted to a biographical dictionary of over 700 known coverlet weavers, including information about extant coverlets believed to be theirs and the historical record of their lives. With the detailed pictures and biographical data, this is an excellent reference book..

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Long May She Wave

by Kit Hinrichs

Kit Hinrichs has been collecting American Flag memoribila for over 40 years. This book has over 500 pictures of Old Glory in every imaginable use of the flag fom actual old flags to labels, pins, group formations and even body art. This is a wonderful coffee table book. Also, until January 2006, you can see a small part of Kit's collection at the Los Altos History Museum.

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Samplers & Samplermakers
An American Schoolgirl Art 1700-1850

by Mary Jaene Edmonds

This book was published in conjunction with an exhibit at The Los Angeles County Museum in 1991. The book has illustrations and a story on each of the nearly 80 samplers covered. The story on each sampler was researched by the author and includes information on the creator of the sampler as well as her teacher, school, town and timeframe. This book includes wonderful detail on the samplers. It's also a history lesson from the perspective of the often negleted schoolgirls ofthe 1700 and 1800s.

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Early American Antique Country Furniture

by George Neumann

George Neumann has created a reliable encyclopedia covering those cherished furnishings found throughout homes from colonial times up through the 1800's. A multitude of furniture, fixtures, appliances, and knick-knacks hundreds of years old are found throughout this volume. This is an excellent reference book on furniture.

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Antique Quilts & Textiles
A Price Guide to Functional and Fashionable Cloth Comforts

by Bobbie Aug, and Gerald Roy

This book provides excellent pictures showing the many quilt patterns. It is an excellent, affordable, reference book.

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Camps and Cottages:
A Stylish Blend of Old and New

by Molly English, Linda Svendsen

From the burnt orange of Yosemite's sunsets to the cobalt blues and foam greens of the Pacific, Camps and Cottages invites you to make a fresh, bold statement by combining the warmth and comfort of cottage living with a rustic blend of old and new. It is cozy, colorful, and truly American.

Whether the location is New England, mid-America, the Rockies, or the Pacific Coast, Camps and Cottages reflects the form and function of the heartland energized with the color and movement of our country's forests and seashores.

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Sand Pail Encyclopedia:
A Complete Value Guide for Tin-Litho Sand Toys

by Karen Horman, Polly Minick

Recollect those childhood experiences when you played carefree on the beach with your sand toys with this comprehensive identification and value guide of tin sand pails and other tin-litho sand toys. From patriotic themes of world wars, to Victorian pails showing children in period clothing, from the early days of transportation showing early airplanes and dirigibles, to the world of Disney, these pails reflect the story of our country. The beautiful and rare pails pictured in this book will be invaluable for identifying and pricing your own pails. Rich in historical and social trends, this book will guide you through the early makers of tin litho and touch on the most popular like Ohio Art as well as the lesser known masters such as Converse and T. Bro's. It also gives today’s market values for tin sand pails and other sand toys. 250 color photos

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The Coverlet Book
Early American Handwoven Coverlets

by Helene Bress

The Coverlet Book is a two-volume hardcover boxed set. The Coverlet Book is over 1,100 pages long and contains over 1,000 photographs, over 2,000 drawdowns and over 300 diagrams. A picture's worth a 1,000 words!

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Labors of Love:
America's Textiles and Needlework, 1650-1930

by Wendy Lavitt, Judith Reiter Weissman

Labors of Love pulls from museums and private collections across the country to illustrate their account of the origins, techniques, motifs, and distinctive qualities of a dazzling array of textiles and needlework: counterpanes, blankets, coverlets, and quilts...tablecloths and towels...mittens, gloves, moccasins, socks, vests, pockets, reticules, purses, and shawls...decorative objects such as samplers, banners and flags...and the accoutrements of needlework itself - button boxes, needlecases, pincushions, and the like. With over 300 pictures and lots of text explanations.

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The Comprehensive Guide to Chocolate Molds:
Objects of Art & Artists' Tools

by Wendy Mullen

This is a brand new book by Wendy which is even more comprehensive then prior books. It is really a comprehensive guide to chocolate molds.

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American Folk Art

by William C. Ketchum, Jr.

This book is a classic and has been republished a number of times since it's first publication 1995. Beginning with that most basic American institution, the family, this book investigates the varied arts of home and community. Before the invention of the camera, portraiture--not just the province of the wealthy--was practiced in the forms of painting and silhouette cutting; domestic and regional scenes were also memorialized on canvas in genre paintings.

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American Folk

by Gerald W. R. Ward, Abaigeal Duda, and Pamela A. Parmal

"Gorgeous" is how this book is most often described. American Folk presents over 60 remarkable objects from one of the country's most prominent collections of folk art, many of them never before published. The introductory essay by curator Gerald W.R. Ward is an excellent introduction and overview of "folk art" and presents the history of its acquisition by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 88 color illustrations.

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Home Sweet Home: The House in American Folk Art

by Deborah Harding, Laura I. Fisher

The "house" is one of American folk art's most popular and prominent motifs, and this beautiful book explores the use in all major folk art media. Each chapter focuses on a specific folk art category and includes an in-depth, detailed introduction to the subject followed by a comprehensive gallery of images accompanied by extended captions that provide a symbolic, social, and economic context for each piece. Every folk art format is featured: quilts, rugs, needlework, furnishings, paintings, and drawings, among others.

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Stars and Stripes: Patriotic Motifs in American Folk Art

by Deborah Harding and Paul S. D'Ambrosio

I've always been a fan of items with the traditional stars and stripes, eagles, Lady Liberty. In this book, author Deborah Harding finds these and other patriotic images decorating quilts and coverlets, whirligigs and weather vanes, game boards and fire buckets--almost no object that could be painted, stitched, or carved was spared embellishment with our country's colors or symbols. Harding examines these objects with an eye to both the artistic and historical significance of each piece.

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Folk Art in American Life

by Robert Bishop and Jacqueline Marx Atkins

This book focuses on nearly 400 years of creative energy in the Northeastern United States, an area the authors felt most strongly influenced succeeding artists working in the folk genre. Examples include paintings, weathervanes, figureheads, furniture, and textiles. The folk art represented ranges in media and subjest and style from abstract to prmitive. The furniture collection is along with the collection of oils and needle and loom work some of the best examples in their respective fields.

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Little by Little: Six Decades of Collecting American Decorative Arts

by Nina Fletcher Little

This book is an inspiring account of the superb collection of New England country arts of the 17th through the 19th centuries assembled "little by little" over six decades by Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little. Nina combined a keen appreciation of the aesthetic qualities of an object with a determination to discover everything possible about the historical and social context in which it was created -- who made it, when and where, how it was used and by whom. For her there was no contest between object and context: she honored both

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American Fancy
Exuberance In The Arts 1790-1840

by Sumpter Priddy

This is an awesome coffee-table book with beautiful illustrations focusing on all forms of physical art - from paintings to furnishings to clocks, glass panels, coffeepots, and much more that could be found American households circa the early 1800's. The full color photographs display a truly remarkable assortment of classic antiques, and the text brings the reader on an in-depth tour of not only the works themselves, but the lives and sweeping historical changes surrounding the men and and women who cherished them. American Fancy is a veritable treasury of vintage creations, many of which were pragmatic as surely as they were beautiful.

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American Painted Furniture

by Cynthia Schaffner

American Painted Furniture surveys decorative treasures from 1790 to 1880, a period when cabinetmakers, gilders, and ornamental painters aspired beyond the utilitarian to create fanciful works of art. With 350 superb photographs and a thorough analysis of faux-inlaid desks, marbleized tables, stenciled cupboards, elaborate timepieces, and much more.

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Textiles in America 1650-1870

by Florence M. Montgomery, forward by Linda Eaton

The book offers an overview of textiles in America. Textiles were the most-imported commodity, and a highly valued one, used for bedding, bed curtains, clothing, household linens, window curtains, upholstery, and floor covering. Drawing on original documents, prints, paintings, commercial records, merchant papers, advertisements, and pattern books, Textiles in America 1650-1870 is a comprehensive resource and a treasure trove of scholarship.

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The Art of the Weathervane

by Steve Miller

Weathervanes from the mid to late 19th century have come to be considered three-dimensional sculpture, suitable for decorating modern corporate offices and homes. Dynamic wooden and metal weathervanes are organized into groups by the assorted forms they depict. Manufacturers are identified, and their back-grounds are explored. The weathervanes in this superb book are guaranteed to inspire an active interest in weathervane collecting. Beautiful photographs.

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American Antique Weathervanes:
The Complete Illustrated Westervelt Catalog of 1883

by A. B. & W. T. Westervelt

A bit different then the rest of the books on the list, this is a reprint of Westervelt's extensively illustrated 1883 catalog, illustrating over 550 copper weathervanes and finials. This excellent primary source by one of the principal manufacturers of American weathervanes offers an extraordinarily wide range of styles and motifs.

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Drawing on America's Past:
Folk Art, Modernism, and the Index of American Design

by Virginia Tuttle Clayton, Elizabeth Stillinger, Erika Doss, and Deborah Chotner

The Index of American Design is widely regarded as one of the New Deal's most important art projects. Began in 1935 as a unit of the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project, tIts aim was to compile and eventually publish a visual archive of American folk, popular, and decorative art from the time of settlement to about 1900. This book presents 82 of the finest watercolor renderings along with a selection of the artifacts they represent.

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Hooked Rugs:
History and the Continuing Tradition

by Jessie A. Turbayne

One of my passions, I enjoy the folk art quality of hand-made hooked rugs. This book preserves the historical background of the often whimsical designs and instructions for starting a rug of your own. The sections present over 300 color photographs of different rugs in lively geometric, abstract, floral, animal, Oriental and original designs, and factual discussions of the interesting people who motivated the designs.

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The Complete Guide to Collecting Hooked Rugs:Unrolling the Secrets

by Jessie A. Turbayne

Dividing the rugs into three age categories: antique, collectible, and contemporary, Jessie Turbayne tells you where to find hooked rugs, what to buy, and what to avoid, and gives tips on care and display.

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Hooked Rug Treasury

by Jessie A. Turbayne

This book provides a visual inventory of particularly memorable hooked rugs. From the most dedicated hands and from the most passionate collectors, this treasury holds more than 500 of the choicest hooked rugs

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