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Mahogany at Patrick Sandberg Antiques
Mahogany became popular in England after the age of walnut, during the time of George II. It is a close-grained hardwood, native to South America and the West Indies. It varies in colour from dark brown to red and occasionally has a spotted effect. As the girth of the tree is broad furniture makers were able to use a single cut of wood for a tabletop. Furniture made from mahogany became very popular with some of the top names of English cabinet making, as well as in Europe.
Native of the Americas, India and Southeast Asia, Mahogany is probably one of the largest ‘families’ of hardwood, having many different varieties within its own species.
Mahogany has been used for centuries in ship building, house building, and furniture. The denseness, resilience and strength of Mahogany made it the perfect surface to adhere the exotic veneers to. It became more of a Victorian trend to dress Mahogany with these decorative veneers, such as Rosewood, Kingwood, Burr Walnut and Coromandel, so that the actual Mahogany was almost hidden from view.
Mahogany itself is a rich reddish-brown wood that can range from being plain to something that is so vibrant, figured and almost three dimensional in effect. Cuban Mahogany is one of the densest and rarest forms of Mahogany with a deep lustrous, almost fiery red/ brown colour to it. This dense wood was often used for chairs as it was a wonderful wood to work with when it came to fine crisply carved details on the splats of chairs, the arms and cabriole legs. Cuban Mahogany was so sought after, that by the late 1850’s, this particular variety became all but extinct.
Although Mahogany was most often used in its solid form, it also provided some beautifully figured varieties of veneer like ‘Flame’ Mahogany and ‘Fiddleback’ Mahogany (named after its preferred use in the manufacture of fine musical instruments).
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