Tag Archives: walnut

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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The Butler did it.

Wood has been used since time immemorial for making such things as rudimentary sticks for whacking animate and inanimate things with, to shelters and furniture etc. But wood really came into its own in the mid-nineteenth-century for creating the most … Continue reading

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Picture This CXVI

This splendid early eighteenth-century walnut breakfront chest-on-stand comprises a number of features that stylistically, span several decades: The chest’s frame-and-panel gables’ origin is in the last quarter of the seventeenth-century; the double bead drawer aperture moulding enjoyed popularity from 1700 … Continue reading

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Picture This CVIII

I have previously mentioned cross-grained mouldings (here and here) which, though somewhat out-of-period, are authentic. The walnut chest-on-chest below is from the second quarter of the eighteenth-century and displays customary cross-grain banding and vertical veneer on the drawer fronts. Fig. … Continue reading

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Patches II

Having read the earlier post Patches, Pablo Bronstein sent me a few pictures of a walnut escritoire in his possession with an unusual patch in the upper left side of the chest (figs. 1 & 2). Fig. 1. Inlaid quadrant … Continue reading

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A George II Walnut Serpentine Chest – Part Four

I don’t have any images of the rear of the original walnut chest; however, roughly thirty years ago I restored a mid-eighteenth-century chest of remarkably similar quality and construction (though of mahogany) which had an oddly asymmetrical three-panel pine back. … Continue reading

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A George II Walnut Serpentine Chest – Part Three

The walnut cross-grain moulding was formed along the serpentine front edge of the carcase’s baseboard prior to assembling the carcase (fig. 1). Fig. 1. The cross-grain moulding already opening up in the 41° (106°F) heat. I cut the one-sided dovetail … Continue reading

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A George II Walnut Serpentine Chest – Part Two

I don’t have historic patterns for this precise chest of drawers, so the first few hours of the job were absorbed in making patterns for the serpentine carcase and drawer fronts, cock-beading, serpentine base moulding and bracket feet. The individual … Continue reading

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A George II Walnut Serpentine Chest – Part One

Towards the close of the seventeenth-century, rather heavy, solid wainscot (oak) furniture gave way to refined European walnut chairs, tables, mirrors and walnut-veneered wainscot and deal (pine) casework etc. Joined oak furniture was attractive enough, but somewhat workman-like and couldn’t … 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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