Antique Woodworking Tools Their Craftsmanship from the Earliest Times to the Twentieth Century

Front cover image

David R. Russell, Photos by James Austin; Foreword by David Linley, Intro by John Adamson

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hardcover, 40% non-returnable discount
John Adamson
Territory: USA & Canada
Size: 10 in x 13.25 in
Pages: 528
Illustrations: 1,204 color
New Title

RRP $192.50

  • Complements the two great modern classics in the field: W. L. Goodman's History of Woodworking Tools (first published 1964) and R. A. Salaman's Dictionary of Woodworking Tools (first published 1975)
  • More than 1,500 tools described in detail
  • 269 plane-iron marks as well as other makers' marks on a wide range of tools all shown clearly in color
  • Examination in depth of tools by Israel White, Leonard Bailey, Stanley, T. Norris & Son, Spiers, Holtzapffel and other great makers
  • Broad survey of boring tools ranging from early augers to framed braces
  • A selection of tools featured in the book were exhibited at Shapero Rare Books, London, England, December 2010 - March 2011

"Anyone who appreciates the beauty of antique tools needs to have a copy"Jim Gehring, The Fine Tool Journal

"Lavish, stunning, outstanding, magnificent ... superlatives just don't do justice to this book."

Amassed over nearly forty years, the David Russell collection brings together a stunning array of edge and boring tools from Britain, continental Europe and North America, thus providing a broad survey of hand tool-making from prehistory to today. All the tools are illustrated with James Austin's photographs, with details and marks shown where appropriate. Special attention is given to planes, and the great British makers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are discussed in depth.

Since prehistoric times there has been a never-ending quest for better ways to cut and bore wood. Along the way this has produced a wide variety of hand tools, and there are many where beauty and function meet.

The book will appeal to a wide range of readers, including collectors, craftsmen, industrial archaeologists and social and economic historians, as well as historians of material culture.

David Russell was apprenticed as a joiner in Kendal, Cumbria. He has been a collector of woodworking tools for many years.

James Austin read architecture and history of art at Jesus College, Cambridge, and at the Courtauld Institute, London. He took up photography of architecture and works of art. A contributor to many art and architectural books, his clients have included the National Trust, English Heritage, the Crafts Council, the Tate Gallery and the Sainsbury Collection, Norwich.

What the press have said about this book...

"Lavish, stunning, outstanding, magnificent ... superlatives just don't do justice to this book. It documents what must be one of the world's greatest private collections of woodworking hand tools." -- Carl Duguay, Canadian