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.
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David Russell was apprenticed as a joiner in Kendal. 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 in Norwich.Review:
The excellent photographs and descriptions do more than justice to one of the most outstanding collections I have ever seen.
(the late Roy Arnold)
I would like to commend David Russell on this fascinating history of woodworking tools. The book shows clearly the kinds of tools that enabled craftsmen to make the most beautiful pieces of furniture and other items.
The Russell collection volume [is] intended to glamorize unsung innovations.
(Eve M. Kahn The New York Times)
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. It documents what must be one of the world's greatest private collections of woodworking hand tools. (Carl Duguay Canadian Woodworking.com)
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