Holland, Michigan. Baker Furniture, Inc., 1943.
Sixth Edition. Booklet, black and white photo illustrations, 48pp, 10 1/2 x 7 inches, gilt decorative paper wrappers. A couple of soiled spots to cover; very good, clean condition. A statement on the title page, printed in a potpourri of fonts, describes the illustrated volume as "A New and Unusual Treatise Regarding the Use, Manufacture and Care of Choice Reproductions; intended for Pleasure and the Interest of All who enjoy Fine Things." An insert cautions "As most of our production is now devoted to the war effort, some of the furniture shown in these pages cannot be obtained. However, your dealer has, or can obtain for you, full information concerning the Baker furniture still available." The volume aims to address the question: "What constitutes a truly fine reproduction?" The question is answered in a chapter which describes the firm's owner trolling France and England looking for a unique piece of furniture, then employing a master cabinet-maker to create, in situ, a reproduction that captures every detail of the original. This copy is then shipped to Michigan to serve as a master model for further reproductions. On other occasions, however, the original is sent direct to Michigan to serve as the master model. Regarding the intricacies of reproduction, we are informed of the demands imposed in choosing fine wood, in creating a lustrous finish, in selecting the finest materials where upholstery is required. A capsule history of English and French furniture styles of the 18th century is next provided, and a final chapter provides opaque attributions regarding the provenance of the original pieces used as models for the knock-offs pictured throughout; for example: "The black and gold Regency chair ... was copied from a model purchased in High Wycombe, England. ... The fine George I wing chair was reproduced from an original antique, owned by a New York dealer"; etc. More (and less) than you might wish to know. Item #47360