This authoritative work was, at the time of its first publication, the first full-length book to cover in detail the collecting of Pennsylvania "Dutch" furnishings and crafts. It was subsequently redesigned and enlarged, to make it again available in this more ample format it deserves.
The Pennsylvania Dutch country may be said to have been "discovered" by collectors in the 1920s and 1930s. These unique people, with their old-world customs and colorful folk art, have created in America an authentic genre, with a flavor much in vogue among experienced decorators, as well as amateur collectors.
Earl F. Robacker, a native Pennsylvanian and a collector himself, introduces this volume with a general discussion of characteristic Dutch country art forms and craftsmanship, emphasizing its authentic "peasant" quality in contrast to the more elegant styles of other early American furnishings. Chapter by chapter he discusses typical pieces of furniture, china, kitchenware and other articles, giving careful descriptions of each important piece, its availability, and most important, the rules for a collector to keep in mind when on the trail of real Pennsylvania Dutch "stuff."
This volume offers a thorough orientation in Pennsylvania Dutch country antiques and makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in the general subject of old furnishings. As the first volume to assemble the scattered and fragmentary information on the subject, it is an invaluable guide for those who merely want to achieve authentic atmosphere in home decoration. Many fine illustrations supplement the text, and a partial list of museum collections gives additional guidance. The book contains a full discussion of the basic principles of Pennsylvania Dutch decoration, and an appraisal of the quality of reproductions available on the market.
Earl F. Robacker is also the author of Pennsylvania German Literature: Changing Trends from 1683 to 1942.