Country Furniture

Watson, Aldren A. Country furniture. New York: Crowell, [1974].

At first, a book like Country Furniture by Aldren A. Watson (1917- ) might seem out of place in the Architecture and Planning Library. Although many architects and architecture students have an interest in furniture design, their tastes tend to run in a more modern direction. Country Furniture, meanwhile, is a book that celebrates the traditional and, most of all, the handcrafted. Despite its old-fashioned subject matter, this title is a full of extremely comprehensive and valuable information on everything from established woodworking techniques and the properties of wood, to the woodworker’s workshop and the typical community it might have existed and thrived in.

What first attracted me to this book were the “over three hundred detailed pencil drawings” by author and illustrator Aldren A. Watson. These simple pencil drawings are remarkable for their clear and concise description of antique furniture. Watson, a respected New England artist, is well known for books on craftsmanship. Titles such as The Blacksmith: Ironworker and Farrier and Hand Tools: Their Ways and Workings show a deep appreciation for bygone techniques and, as such, are an indispensable resource for historians and preservationists.

Library of Congress call number: TS 880 W33 1974