Albert M. Sack, 96, a prominent New York antiques dealer and the author of

Fine Points of American Furniture: Good, Better, Best

, a guidebook to early American furniture that became the bible for a generation of weekend antiquers and a standard for professional collectors, died Sunday in Durham, N.C.

Mr. Sack was the last surviving principal of a family business, Israel Sack Inc. Founded in 1905 by his father, it was instrumental in elevating the commercial appeal of American antiques to a level once reserved for furniture of European origin.

As chief buyer for the firm, Albert Sack developed a nationwide network of collectors, shop owners, and friends who helped him locate underappreciated gems that later commanded top prices. Some brought multimillion-dollar, record-breaking sums at auctions at Christie's and Sotheby's.

- N.Y. Times News Service