This work marks a new direction in the study of decorative arts and belongs in every collector's library. In a lively and readable text, Historic New England curator Nancy Carlisle, a nationally recognized expert in the study of American material culture, offers poignant stories of both famous and forgotten players in New England's story. She presents more than 175 visually stunning objects, examines their roles as beloved treasures in peoples' lives, and shows how they give us a nuanced perspective on the past. The objects are selected from one of the nation's most important collections of fine and decorative arts, that of Historic New England , a museum of cultural history with 35 historic house museums across the region. The collections, which include more than 120,000 objects and half a million photographs, are the most important in the nation for the study of New England material life. This beautifully illustrated and engagingly written catalogue of Historic New England's finest holdings provides new evidence of the way the objects with which we surround ourselves reflect both who we are and where we are from. Over three hundred full-color photographs and fifty black and white images.