Cover image for Complete book of Shaker furniture
Complete book of Shaker furniture
Rieman, Timothy D.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Atglen, PA : Schiffer, [2003]

Physical Description:
576 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 32 cm
Subject Term:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NK2407 .R54 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference

On Order



This comprehensive reference documents the full scope of furniture from Shaker communities in New England, Ohio, and Kentucky. Furniture produced throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, ranging from free-standing tables, chairs, desks, boxes, and case clocks to built-in cupboards and cases of drawers, is shown in over 1,000 images, 698 in color. An extensive text provides a detailed account of Shaker history, culture, and religion. Further, it examines Shaker design and tools, reporting new research on the Shaker color palette. Using primary source materials, this book examines designs from specific Shaker communities and individual cabinetmakers. Endnotes, bibliography, glossaries, and technical terms make this beautiful reference required reading for everyone with an interest in Shaker design and culture.

Author Notes

Timothy D. Rieman is a master woodworking craftsman and one of the foremost makers of reproduction Shaker furniture. Jean M. Burks is the Curator of Decorative Arts at Shelburne Museum, Vermont. Both authors have researched and written about Shaker furniture for over a decade.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

This is a massive piece in both scope and volume-and a sturdy coffee table indeed would be required to support it adequately. It is a revision and expansion of 1993's The Complete Book of Shaker Furniture, presenting an additional 300 pieces and more color illustrations than the prior volume. Part 1 offers a general introduction, with extensive background and context, while Part 2 presents the 11 major Shaker settlements, called bishoprics, and the variations of styles presented in each. Of these 11, Mount Lebanon, NY, is the most heavily represented. As we can now see, the earlier volume was not entirely complete, which makes it difficult to believe that this volume is truly encyclopedic. With endnotes, a selected bibliography, two glossaries, and a short index that is useful as far as it goes, the new work does address some of the shortcomings of the earlier one. In so doing, however, it may well have moved beyond the means or cost-benefit range of many libraries. It is more than a quick or simple reference and is more detailed than one could digest in an afternoon of browsing, seated in the reference section. Thus, this work is most specifically recommended for furniture-making and architectural collections, as well as libraries in the areas of the Shaker settlements.-Alex Hartmann, INFOPHILE, Williamsport, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.