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Harbor & Home: Furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts 1710 – 1850, by Brock Jobe, Gary R. Sullivan, & Jack O’Brien.University Press of New England, 2009.$75.00; 458 pp.
This is a big book with tons of great photos and information about the furniture and lifestyle of Southeastern Massachusetts (south of Boston to the tip of Cape Cod, including the islands) during the period 1710 – 1850. Apparently this has been an understudied area of craftsmanship and Harbor & Home seems to fill the void.
The book is divided into 3 sections. The first section includes essays about the region, about 6 woodworkers who lived and worked there and, about a family of clockmakers.
The catalogue section is the main part of the book and includes chairs, beds, tables and case goods. Each entry includes the maker and origin of the piece (if known) and includes details such as materials, dimensions, and condition. There is also a large section devoted to clocks.
The third section is an appendix listing more than 1000 furniture craftsman of southeastern Massachusetts during this period and includes information about their locations, working dates, and occupations.
Harbor & Home was published in conjunction with an exhibit of at least 75 items at the Winterthur Museum (March 21, 2009 – May 25, 2009) in Delaware.
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I recently Purchased this book at the Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge Ma. Next to the Masterworks of John and Thomas
Seymour by Robert Mussey, this is my favorite book. I grew up in southern Ma. so this book is especially interesting to me.To me using the book for inspiration in my own work in some way continues the lineage of the furniture makers that came before me.I can only hope that 100 yrs. from now my work might be worthy of a book of the quality of this one.
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