Category Archives: Furniture Timbers

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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A William III Ash Chest-on-Stand – Part Two

I am never without something to occupy myself, but spring is a particularly active time of the year: Horses, foals (currently five, with another three due imminently), tree planting, tree watering, keeping the greens in order and a myriad of … Continue reading

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UK’s Oldest Tree Undergoing Sex Change

I previously mentioned Scotland’s Fortingall Yew here. Well apparently there’s something queer going on with it: The UK’s oldest tree, thought to be up to 5,000 years old, is undergoing a “sex change”. Records have always noted the Fortingall Yew … Continue reading

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A William III Ash Chest-on-Stand – Part One

I am taking a sabbatical to recharge my batteries and to make a copy of an adorably quirky, yet hallowed William III ash chest-on-stand (fig. 1) before attending to the final two chests for the book. Fig. 1. William III … Continue reading

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