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Furniture Woods in England

Soft, Hard & Exotic Woods

Over the course of the history of English furniture a multitude of woods and timbers, have been in use for furniture construction, both hard woods and soft woods, some well known and others obscure, some native to England and some of exotic provenance.

Roughly speaking there are four great periods : oak, walnut, mahogany and satinwood. However focusing on these woods alone often leads to the many other beautiful woods being ignored such as applewood, rosewood, beech, cherry and cedar. It is true that more articles were made in oak, walnut and mahogany than in other woods, but the country furniture craftsman has never been afraid to employ timber that came more readily to hand, for his workshop was never under the control of fashion, and although he echoed the designs of the town craftsman, he was not limited to the particular wood or finish that the trend of the moment seemed to demand. So we have country made chairs, for example, in the Chippendale style in elm and beech and oak instead of the accustomed mahogany.

The overall picture can be gleaned quickly from this and the links can be followed to view in depth information on each wood type and species of woods concerned which are arranged in roughly chronological format.









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