Emyl Jenkins' Guide to Buying and Collecting Early American Furniture

Emyl Jenkins, Author, Ann Cahn, Editor, Joe E. A. Wilkinson, With Crown Publishers $20 (148p) ISBN 978-0-517-57085-2
Collecting classic American antiques has long been a fascinating subject, spawning articles and columns in magazines and newspapers. Since 18th-century furniture has become a rara avis in the marketplace, this meticulously written book may seem somewhat obsolete, but the text is enlivened by a detective-like approach. Reading it is like being invited to go hunting for finery with a knowledgeable doyenne. We meet wiley dealers who try to take us for what they can get. We're led through the intricate details of what lies behind fakes, restorations and reproductions, and how originals are devalued and sometimes ruined. We listen to the elaborate games played out between buyer and seller, each pretending to know more than the other. This is great fun, but then so are the brass tacks of sleuthing. With collaborator Wilkinson,ok/mm Jenkins explains the original hardware, what replacements are deemed acceptable, what patinas and finishes should look like and what repairs may hide. The second part of the book takes us through 11 case studies of classic pieces, their earmarks and their worth. For all the technicalities involved, Jenkins gives us full value--and good humor. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
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