Thirty years of genealogical research have turned up scant documentary information about the elusive joiner John Shearer, so the fifty-two surviving pieces of furniture signed by or attributed to him are left to tell his story.
On the verge of allowing his extensive collection of paintings of African Americans to tour for a year, John Surovek summons it home.
To many collectors of nineteenth-century silver and objets de vertu, imperial Russia is the fount of Europe's most exotic work. And even for those who can only dream of its legacy de luxe, mention of Mother Russia immediately triggers thoughts of one name, Fabergé.
Much of the important photographic record of nineteenth-century life entered libraries through books with original prints and has thus survived almost by accident.