Fayette Rumsey Plumb II, 91, of Blue Bell, a retired tool-company executive and antiques dealer, died of heart failure Friday, Dec. 2, at Mercy Suburban Hospital.

For 30 years, Mr. Plumb and his wife, Patricia Walker Plumb, operated Troll House Antiques in a shop in Skippack and, more recently, from their home in Blue Bell.

They specialized in American furniture, which was better crafted because it was often made with hardwoods that were not available to Europeans, Mr. Plumb told the Philadelphia Daily News in 1999.

Asked why he didn't sell reproductions, he said, "It's only old furniture that's durable. That's the stuff that improves with age, that's the stuff that takes on a rich patina."

Mr. Plumb, who learned cabinetmaking at boarding school and metalsmithing while repairing airplanes in the Navy, restored many pieces he sold. He was still working until weeks before he died, his family said.

An expert on 19th-century American antiques, Mr. Plumb gave talks at the Historical Society of Whitpain.

"He had a passion for poetry and nature, and you could still find pressed flowers among the pages of his poetry books from his school days," his granddaughter Vanessa Hartmann said. He was a master storyteller and instilled in his grandchildren a great love of narrative, she said. "Nearly all of us are writers and poets, and one is a documentary filmmaker," Hartmann said.

Mr. Plumb grew up on a horse farm in King of Prussia. He attended Episcopal Academy and graduated in 1940 from Avon Old Farms School in Avon, Conn., where he was senior class president.

He attended the University of Virginia before enlisting in the Navy.

During World War II, he served in Okinawa and in California, where he met his future wife.

After his discharge, he joined Fayette R. Plumb Tools in Bridesburg. The company, founded by his grandfather in 1870, produced hammers, axes, and other hand tools.

He retired as vice president in charge of manufacturing in 1982.

In addition to his wife of 65 years, Mr. Plumb is survived by daughters Marilyn Cheyney, Patricia Hartman, and Suzanna; two sisters; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at Episcopal Church of the Messiah, 1001 DeKalb Pike, Gwynedd, Pa. 19002.

Donations may be made to the church or to Paralyzed Veterans of America, 801 18th St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.