Category Archives: Furniture Timbers

Swizzle

The only use for the timber of the swizzle tree (Quararibea turbinata) that I can find is for making goad sticks (figure 1). Fig. 1. Goad stick with swizzle haft. However, ‘swizzles’ are concoctions that originated on the island of … Continue reading

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Laburnum

Laburnum is a genus of two species of small deciduous trees viz. common laburnum (Laburnum anagyroides) and alpine laburnum (Laburnum alpinum). Laburnums are native to southern Europe but are omnipresent throughout the British Isles. Fig. 1. A laburnum at Barrington … Continue reading

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Picture This CXXXII

This chest-on-chest was made at a time when mahogany’s adoption was virtually universal and walnut’s quondam reign was all but over. Fig. 1. George II walnut chest-on-chest, circa 1750. The rather tardy use of walnut is not the only behindhand … Continue reading

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The Cabinet-Maker’s Tree

Before the introduction of mahogany, the walnut was “the cabinet-maker’s tree” in England, and it was well adapted for the purpose, — being tough and strong in proportion to its weight, beautifully variegated, admitting of a fine polish, durable, and … Continue reading

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Three Species of Mahogany

There are three species of mahogany: — Common mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni), Swietenia febrifuga, and Swietenia chloroxylon: the first being a native of the West India Islands and the central parts of America, and the second and third natives of the … Continue reading

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Picture This CXIX

I previously mentioned the propensity for common elm to warp in connection with Windsor seats in Picture This CX – Redux. It is no doubt due to the same tendency that elm wasn’t more broadly employed (in the solid) for the … Continue reading

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Cross-Grained Mouldings

Mouldings on oak-framed buildings – and thence joiner-made oak furniture – followed the timber’s grain and were comparatively simple to produce. Then circa 1685, a new breed of specialised furniture maker appeared. Cabinetmakers developed more sophisticated techniques for making and … Continue reading

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Picture This XC

I have written previously on the topic of (usually vernacular) furniture that employs largely unfashionable or domestic timbers in its construction. Here again is an example of case furniture – a sophisticated cabinet-on-chest in this instance – anomalously moulded and … Continue reading

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Picture This LXXXIX

Coming under the hammer at Sworders tomorrow, the 7th of June 2016, is this bureau, unusually veneered overall in a chevron pattern. The pre-auction estimate is £800 – £1,500 ($1,570 – $2,950). Fig. 1. Lot 357, a George II chevron … Continue reading

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Berry Christmas

… we still dreſs up both our churches and houses, on Christmas and other festival days, with this cheerful green, and its rutilant berries. [i] Common Holly (Ilex aquifolium). Season’s greetings to one and all! Jack Plane [i] John Evelyn, … Continue reading

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