Since its publication in 1987, this two-volume work has been the standard introduction and practical guide to the identification of American antique furniture of all styles and periods prior to 1840. The author was a jurist by profession, but by inclination, a lifelong collector of fine antiques. As an amateur collector, he became increasingly aware of the pitfalls of inexperienced selection, and at last compiled this book to assist other amateurs through these difficulties. The book is organised around an unusually comprehensive collection of 2,115 illustrations. Most of these are photographs, taken under the author's supervision in the 148 private homes he visited in preparation for this book. The illustrations are arranged in chronological order in chapters on chairs, sofas, chests, highboys, lowboys, desks, sideboards, bedsteads, mirrors, tables, clocks, and other articles. Each chapter therefore yields its own pictorial history, showing numerous fine examples of the article in Queen Anne, Chippendale, Hepplewhite, Sheraton, Empire and other styles. Throughout, the em-phasis is on furniture commonly found on the market, omitting the rarest pieces and including simpler items not usually covered in books on antiques.