Victorian Furniture Books
Styles of American Furniture
Eileen and Richard Dubrow
This book covers 100 years of furniture but surprisingly packs a lot of information and images to prevent shorting any maker or timeframe/style (e.g. 38 pictures of Hunzinger pieces alone). Chapter 2 includes short biographies on almost 100 cabinet makers, which makes the book worth it for that alone. It goes on to cover several styles: Renaissance Revival, Aesthetic/Art, Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Modern. Good sections on Egyptian Revival, Wooten desks. A must-have.
Alexander Roux, Leon Marcotte, Pottier & Stymus, Thomas Brooks, Mitchell & Rammelsberg, J & JW Meeks, Daniel Pabst, George Hunzinger, Herter Brothers
American Furniture of the 19th Century
Eileen & Richard Dubrow
Same authors as the “Styles” book and thus the book starts with the cabinet maker biographies – 43 pages worth concentrated on makers for the 1840-1880 period. Covers styles: Gothic, Rococo, Elizabethan, Renaissance, Aesthetic Movement, Louis XVI, Neo-Grec, and Moorish. The Rococo section in this book is extensive with several dozens of photos and information on John Henry Belter and J & JW Meeks. A must-have.
John Henry Belter, J & JW Meeks, Alexander Roux, George Hunzinger, Kimbel & Cabus, Pottier & Stymus, Herter Brothers, Mitchell & Rammelsberg, Thomas Brooks
No longer in print but it is especially well-suited to the Victorian furniture collector that wants to learn about the furniture and not just look at it. Covers the basics of the various Victorian sub-genres and has a dictionary targeted to only Victorian-relevant terms. A must-have and worth the price. More detailed review here.
Joseph Meeks, Neo-Grec, Empire Reproduction, John Belter, Baudouine and Other Belter Competitors, Rococo-Revival Detail, Unpierced Belter, “French Antique” Style, Gilding, , Louis XIV, XV and XVI (A Chart), Palace Reproductions form the 1890s, Pre-Civil War Plantation Furniture, Gothic Furniture, Elizabethan Style, Mitchell & Rammelsberg, Dictionary of Construction Detail, “Modern Renaissance” Style, Renaissance-Revival, Grand Rapids, Gothic, Elizabethan, and Renaissance, Eastlake Gothic Reform, Turkish Cozies and the Orient, Stickley’s Reform: Mission, Colonial Reproductions
The Furniture of John Henry Belter and the Rococo Revival
Schwartz, Stanek, True
The definitive reference on John Henry Belter and his furniture. 88 pages. Includes information on Belter’s lamination process and very detailed Belter identification points. Many photos of furniture with pattern names, including lesser-known pieces.
John Henry Belter
Furniture and Interiors for a Gilded Age
Howe, Frelinghuysen, Voorsanger
272 pages of extensive textual detail and 300 illustrations covering the works of Gustave and Christian Herter. This is an excellent pictorial reference of Herter pieces (Gustave alone as well as Herter Brothers) and also includes one-off images from Marcotte, Pottier & Stymus, Kimbel & Cabus and others.
Century of Revivals
Nineteenth-Century American Furniture in The Newark Museum
This 63-page book, prepared by Ulysses Dietz, Curator of Decorative Arts, documents in black-and-white photographs some of the key 19th Century pieces in the collection of the museum. This is a nice book to have in your reference library, especially for John Jelliff fans. More detailed review here.
*John Jelliff (several pieces)
One or two images for: Belter, Meeks, Roux, Mitchell & Rammelsberg, Hunzinger, Marcotte
Martin M. May
I have this book for one reason: R.J. Horner reference. It has dozens of pieces by Horner as well as other 1880/1890s carved Oak and Griffin furniture.
Also covers several areas of Victorian Decor: Architectural Antiques (home elements), Stained Glass, Furniture, Art Glass, Lighting, Match Holders, and Poster Art
R. J. Horner, Carved Oak, Griffin Furniture, Kerosene Lamps, Student Lamps, Handel, Pairpoint, Duffner and Kimberly
Furniture Made In America
Eileen & Richard Dubrow
Comprised of excerpts from actual furniture catalogs from the period including pictures and original pricing. Has an intriguing section that covers original ads for furniture making machinery. Sections cover all major categories of furniture and includes excerpts from dozens of well-known and obscure makers. This covers more mainstream mass-produced furniture.
mass-produced Victorian furniture
Nineteenth Century Furniture
Innovation, Revival and Reform
Art & Antiques
Large detailed color and B&W photographs and history of furniture from particular makers and categories. Although titled “Nineteenth Century Furniture”, some of the sections cross the border into the very early 20th century.
Good book for Daniel Pabst, Egyptian Revival and Kimbel & Cabus due to scarcity of reference material on this furniture. All other makers and styles covered equally well. More detailed review here.
Philadelphia Empire, Hitchcock, Belter, Pabst, Egyptian Revival, Eastlake, Kimbel & Cabus, Galle and Majorelle, Art Nouveau, Charles Voysey, Chicago Furniture, Gustav Stickley, Roycrofters, Innovative Furniture, Thonet and Bentwood, Hunzinger, Wicker, Cast Iron, Adirondack Hickory
Heywood Brothers and Wakefield Company
Richard Saunders Introduction
Original company catalog reprinted
Reprint of an original 1898-1899 catalog from Heywood-Wakefield. Includes clear black and white drawings of chairs, tables, settees, lounges, photographer chairs, ottomans, cribs, parlor sets, baskets and many others. Excellent reference book for identifying HW wicker.
Heywood-Wakefield wicker furniture
Art & Enterprise
American Decorative Art, 1825-1917
The Virginia Carroll Crawford Collection
High Museum of Art
A 411 page richly detailed catalog of the Crawford collection in the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. The collection comprises major examples of American craftsmanship and design. Included are 235 color plates of photographs, patent drawings, catalogue pages, bills of sale, and photos of pieces in situ. Each image is accompanied by detailed background on the maker and the item. Includes sections on: Classicism, Industrialization, Gothic and Elizabethan Revivals, Rococo, New Classicism, Patent Furniture, Arts & Crafts, Eclecticism, Cut Glass, Art Nouveau, and designs by Architects
Pieces by Alexander Roux, George Henkels, Daniel Pabst, John Jelliff, Gustave Herter, Herter Brothers, A & H Lejambre, Thomas Godey, Charles Rohlfs, Charles Baudouine, Harvey Ellis, Herts Brothers, Gustav Stickley, R.J. Horner, J & JW Meeks, Kimbel and Cabus, Kilian Brothers, Leon Marcotte, Wooten and many others.
Lots of porcelain, glass, silver and other decorative arts.
Late 19th Century Furniture By Berkey & Gay
Brian L. Witherell
High quality reprint of an 1880 catalog from Berkey & Gay showing their complete line of parlor sets, bedroom suites, and parlor tables. Those who collect books on furniture of this era for reference should not be without this book.
Berkey & Gay
The Furniture of George Hunzinger
Invention and Innovation in Nineteenth-Century America
A rare book (thus the price), but this is the definitive guide on George Hunzinger and his body of work. 168 pages. A must-have for Hunzinger fans. Includes extensive pictures of chairs, tables, parlor sets, Hunzinger patents, furniture ads, and 19th century pictures of Hunzinger furniture in homes and businesses.