Not remembering if I was searching for a bonheur du jour or a beaureau plat and there being no index to look it up forces me to deduct one star. No book is worthy of being called more than a list or a catalogue unless it has a comprehensive index, and being full of foreign terms should have been the decider to include one here.
However, the book is crammed full of useful information in the text to accompany quality plates. Nice touches are the three pictures showing the stages of a french lock, unique to that country.The dissection of a fake piece of french furniture was also informative, as were the warnings about fake stamps by ebenistes and additional marks placed or branded on french furniture by english retailers.
Obviously given the prevailing taste for the last two centuries the largest section is on french furniture, but not exclusively so. With the exception of the french and the Biedermeier styles it almost seems that the rest of the woeld wanted weight and quantity to show their taste. There are illustrations of some gross and heavy pieces here, most of which would raise more laughs than money in an english saleroom, but the book ties all the styles together to stop it being an incoherent mess.
The illustrations and depth of analysis are the strngths of this book and it is one of the best on the subject.