Stanley and Polly Stone of Fox
Point, Wisconsin, began collecting American furniture in 1946 when they purchased
an early nineteenth-century secretary-and-bookcase made in Salem, Massachusetts.
The couple did not set out to become major collectors, but within four years,
they had acquired twenty-eight additional antique furniture forms.
In a newspaper article in 1959 the Stones openly acknowledged their increasingly obsessive collecting habit, jokingly describing themselves as stricken with "virus antiquarium."