Judith Miller's Furniture Encyclopedia is for anyone interested in furniture. Whether you want to identify, date or evaluate your own pieces this is the only comprehensive, full-color reference guide for you. The global overview that spans the last 3,000 years of design will turn any amateur into a furniture buff.
Antiques and collectibles expert Miller (Judith Miller: A Closer Look at Antiques) is a prolific producer of price and style guides to furniture. Beautifully produced and lavishly illustrated with 3000-plus color images, her new work examines the evolution of furniture styles up through the 20th century. The sheer size of the volume and the lush presentation on glossy paper stock might lead readers to consider this volume one to be reckoned with. Sadly, that is not the case; it can really serve only as an introduction. To Miller's credit, she provides a strong guide to further reading. Ranging between 30 and 60 pages, each of the chapters examines a significant time period; more recent periods receive longer treatments. The brevity of the individual presentations significantly undercuts their utility, but what is there is well captioned, and the text delineates (to the extent possible) the history and major trends of the style being presented. This is typical DK fare, strong as a beginning point but weak as a comprehensive source. Furniture serves better as an "in-and-out" reference than as a volume to be savored.