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Philadelphia Empire Furniture Hardcover – 1 Feb 2007


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Review

"This high quality book makes a major contribution toward the appreciation of a historic decorative arts period and an equally historic city."--Antique & Collectible News Service

Antique & Collectible News Service"

This high quality book makes a major contribution toward the appreciation of a historic decorative arts period and an equally historic city. "Antique & Collectible News Service""

About the Author

DR. JOHN WILLIAM BOOR lives outside Philadelphia and has been an avid collector of Philadelphia Empire furniture for over 30 years. The absence of any other volume solely dedicated to Philadelphia Empire furniture, as well as Dr. Boor s great love and appreciation of the Empire furniture style was the inspiration for writing this book.
ALLISON, JONATHAN, CHRIS and PETER BOOR collaborated with their father to help produce this volume and worked on all aspects including research, writing, photography, and technical support; and although they follow different career paths, including medicine and business, an interest in Empire furniture is something they share and have grown up with. Allison, Jonathan, and Chris live abroad in Russia, St. Martin, and Canada respectively."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8f819a8c) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f649630) out of 5 stars Philadelphia Empire Furniture 6 May 2007
By Donald Eric Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I found this book full of wonderful information but little original writing by the authors, and alot coming directly from the advertisements or catalogues where the furniture had been illustrated and described before the issue of this book. What original material there was was not in depth but a cursory description of the piece, rarely including any provenance, no condition reports, and poor descriptions of the woods the furniture was made of. I expected scholarship and really it is an elaborate and beautiful picture book. Any nucnces are lost.

Overall it is a fun coffee table book, but does not add much to the knowledge of Philadelphia Classical or Empire Furniture. It is a good start, very good, and a big undertaking to gather all the photographs, but as far as becoming a standard reference on the subjject I was sorely dissapointed, especially at the price.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f812a8c) out of 5 stars Should have been better 19 May 2007
By Manou - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I agree wholeheartedly with the other review of this book. This book contains a large number of photographs, and for that it can be a useful database, but the book contains no new scholarship in an area in great need of it. American classical/empire furniture is fairly underresearched and documented by comparison with other styles and epoques of American furniture making, and it would have nice -- particularly given the list price of this work -- to have had this book contribute additional learning to the field. Those wishing to learn more about this era of American furniture and cabinet making would do better to consult Wendy Cooper's works such as "Classical Taste in America", Peter Kenney et al's reference on Honnore Lannuier, "Duncan Phyfe and the English Regency" (although this reference is hard to find, very expensive in first edition, and covers more of the federal/empire transition period), or "Classical Maryland". Hopefully, scholars will continue to produce works of the caliber of those, but containing the generous, excellent photographic resources of "Philadelphia Empire Furniture".
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90f5c888) out of 5 stars Philadelphia Empire Letdown ........ 17 Oct. 2009
By Johntique - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Frequent use of improper and inconsistent terminology, confused syntax, and meaningless non-information characterize "Philadelphia Empire Furniture" written by John W. Boor, Allison Boor, Jonathan Boor, Christopher Boor, and Peter Boor. At 592 pages, this is a huge book lavishly illustrated with photographs and drawings. Unfortunately, the photos aren't always the best, nor is the eye of the authors, since they show the same table (figures 136 and 137)in two captions - side by side, the veneer obviously identical, though the table in figure 136 was apparently French polished. Gosh ....... who knew!

I found page 88 to be especially disturbing - since so much of it made absolutely no sense at all. If there was a proof reader for the manuscript, they might consider a different occupation. The misspellings and improperly pluralised words are scattered throughout the volume - and lend a very amateurish note to a well intentioned book.

The chair in figure 156 is apparently mislabeled and incorrectly identified. Owned by the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, Florida, it is illustrated in their book - "A Treasury of American Art" on page 87, where it is also mislabeled ..... as the work of Charles Honore Lannuier of New York City. In all probability, this chair is more likely to have come from the shop of John and Thomas Constantine of New York City. It follows closely the Speaker's Armchair made for the North Carolina State House around 1820.

As previously reviewed, the information contained in this book is essentially a rehash of known data compiled by recognized authorities in the field, and including, but not limited to Stuart Feld, Elizabeth Feld, Wendy Cooper, Robert Smith, Anthony Stuempfig, and Robert Trump. Nowhere is there any information which sheds new light on the objects illustrated, though many of the objects themselves are new to publication - and it certainly is helpful to have them arranged categorically for comparison purposes.

This is a "nice" picture book - and, for me, a must have for my library as a good illustrative reference, since I own most of the texts which contain all of the basic known material related to Classical America. If you are looking for an educational reference with solid information, I would purchase "Classical Taste in America, 1800-1840" by Wendy A. Cooper.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f94fab0) out of 5 stars BEAUTIFUL BOOK 28 April 2012
By L. Oesterreich - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is large, heavy and the most concise reference book on Empire furniture ever written. I purchased a table at an antique mall, and the dealer told me it was Federal period. He was wrong. The pictures in this book helped me identify that the table is actually Empire. I would recommend this book, not only to antique collectors, but to dealers as well
By Robert Klein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
some less than stellar reviews almost stopped me from buying this excellent reference book. yes many of the pictured items have been pictured in other writings but hey, just how many masterfully pieces are there. I have many reference books in my library and although there is overlap in most, i find that i need repetition to sear things into my head.
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