Author: London Society of Cabinet Makers
Publisher: London Society of Cabinet Makers
Printer: W. Brown and A. O'Neil (London)
Dimensions: xvi, 266, 24 pages, 29 leaves of plates, height: 10 5/8 in. (27 cm)
Accession Number: 161 L841
The first edition of the London Book of Prices (1788) contains twenty engraved furniture designs, three of anonymous authorship and seventeen by Thomas Shearer, a little-known individual who may have been a journeyman. The revised 1793 edition had nine additional designs, six signed by Hepplewhite and three by William Casement. It was reissued, virtually unchanged, in 1803. The revised London price book appeared shortly after publication in New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston. This volume was the model for several similar guides published in New York (1796 with eight subsequent versions by 1835) and Philadelphia (1794 with four subsequent versions). The designs in the London Book of Prices were for furniture forms in common production and the accompanying prices listed were charges for standard forms and extras agreed upon by both master cabinetmakers and the journeymen they employed. The designs in the London Book of Prices were probably less influential on American furniture than the concept of the price book as a labor agreement, although some American furniture forms generally appear to be adapted from this book.