This subseries is comprised primarily of correspondence, invoices and receipts, and documents McIlhenny's seemingly endless appetite and appreciation in acquiring a variety of antique objects as well as numerous finer-made items for his everyday use. Spanning almost eight decades, the material pertains not only to McIlhenny's purchases for his homes in Philadelphia and Ireland but also to a number of similar dealings initiated by his parents and sister. Based on the amount of documentation, certain dealers enjoyed long and profitable ties with the family, such as the New York firm of French & Company, the British concern Mallett and Son Antiques, and Arnold Seligmann, Rey & Co. of Paris and New York.
The "Furniture" subgroup makes up the largest number of files. English and French tables, chairs and case pieces of the 16th to 18th centuries make up the most frequent purchases as do a significant number of mirrors. A few antique mantels, such as the one the senior McIlhenny bought from the early retail magnate John Wanamaker (his New York store) are also documented here, as well as a sarcophagus. Such non-furniture items have been noted in the folder title where possible. The "Silver" files underscore Henry McIlhenny's passion for collecting an array of antique items, such as a George II silver picnic set (from Asprey & Co.) While the "Ceramics" files contain papers pertaining to Meissen, Chinese, and Oriental Lowestoft pieces, there is significant documentation of McIlhenny buying more utilitarian dinnerware, albeit befitting his tastes. For example, in 1955 when his monogrammed service (including 48 dinner plates) arrived in Philadelphia, he wrote to the Portugese manufacturer that he was "almost in tears." "They got my intitials wrong! It really is a disaster." Apparently McIlhenny was pleased with their remedy to the situation since he placed another order with them in 1961 (including 72 dinner plates each for Philadelphia and Glenveagh), and again in 1973 (including approximately 25 dinner plates for each residence). Most of the "Glass" and a few of the "Textiles" files pertain to housewares, although receipts for antique brocades, garments and tapestries are also included. Purchase of a boar's head and armadillo skin is also included in this genre. The other genre groups, based on McIlhenny's classifications, are "Books," "Jewelry and gems," "Lighting fixtures", "Metalwork," "Paintings," "Sculpture," and "Stained Glass." For paintings and sculpture there is more significant documentation in the "Objects by artist" subseries. A number of folders in the "Dealers, museums and others" subseries also pertain to a variety of purchases made by McIlhenny and his family, including "everyday" items.
Within all the genre categories, papers generated from a shipping agent or customs official are often included with the seller's documentation. In some cases, papers are filed by the name of such middlemen when no accompanying dealer documentation appears to exist. It is also important to note that many invoices cover the purchase of a variety of objects, and therefore include more than one genre. While McIlhenny's original classification has been maintained, as many cross-references as possible have been made to single-author files.