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There's a Bed in the Piano: The Inside Story of the American Home Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 1, 1998


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Hardcover, Bargain Price, September 1, 1998
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Co; 1st edition (September 1, 1998)
  • ISBN-10: 0821223747
  • ASIN: B0006Q1UJS
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,638,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kaye, who wrote Fake, Fraud, or Genuine: Identifying Authentic Antique Furniture, wants us to "read" the cultural and social significance of tables, chairs, porches, windows and home layouts. The detailed historical perspective she provides here allows readers to do just that. Early New England antiques are Kaye's strong suit, but her fascination with that period and place might occasionally exceed that of a general-interest reader who comes to the book for a broader perspective. In addition, the superior tone with which she corrects other people's perceived misconceptions (annoyingly termed "fawbits" here, for fictional accounts without basis in truth) quickly becomes tiresome. Kaye's brightest moments are when she uses her historical knowledge to shine light on the present. After tracing the history of the American kitchen, Kaye's riff on the modern gadget that dispenses boiling water at your kitchen sink gleams like a gem. But she places higher value (and writes many more words) on historical goose chases, such as an overwrought attempt to prove the American porch came from Africa with the slaves. This might well be true, but Kaye's unwieldy prose makes the theory sound convoluted. In sections where she has less to prove, her voice is much more appealing.

Copyright 1998 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
If you're interested in antiques, American furniture, or architecture, I'm sure this book is full of indispensable information. I'm not interested in any of them, and I loved the book.
It's just plain fun! It reads like a collection of short stories. You can't wait to see what happens next in the evolution of the chest of drawers or the porch -- because you don't learn only about the chest or the porch, but about the people who designed and used them. And you learn answers to all those questions you've always wondered about and never known whom to ask.
The pictures not only make it a great gift and perfect coffee table book, but tell you what something looks like exactly when you're trying to imagine it.
Most of all, I learned a lot without it even hurting a little bit!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Sometimes suffering from a forced theory or analogy, the book is nevertheless strongly recommended. It contains many insights into the American mindset as seen through objects. The black and white illustrations are well-chosen for their ability to inform. The author's grasp of modern scholarship is impressive, and many other authors are cited. Throughout, the author keeps up her commitment to debunking myths by including what she has dubbed the "fawbit", a "fictional account without basis in truth" (x). An example of a fawbit from the room use chapter is the assertion that a small, downstairs room in an 18th century house was the "borning room". Kaye reminds us that scholarship has never turned up a period inventory that included a "borning room"; more likely, it was a sleeping chamber for a servant. Kaye moves easily through styles and time periods, providing remarkable examples and details while keeping the big picture in sight.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a serious book of excellent quality. I am new to the rug world and was looking for a book that covered a wide variety of rugs with many illustrations. The book is comprised mostly of pictures with small captions of the rugs being featured. All in all, this book is very close to what I was looking for. The only reason I gave it four stars is because the rug terminology used to describe the rugs is definitely not for the beginner. I had a difficult time understanding what the author was referring to even with the picture of rug right in front of me. Other than the complex rug terminology, great book with awesome rugs!
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