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Antiques – Wooden Fundamentals

Antiques – Wooden Fundamentals

Oak, mahogany, walnut, pine, rosewood, maple, elm; you will have some or all of those woods in your house. However, have you learnt the way to inform the distinction amongst them? On this month’s column, we’ll discuss in regards to the totally different sorts of wooden which are commonly seen in vintage furnishings and a few widespread ornamental therapies.

The Fundamentals
Wooden is difficult or gentle. Once I say laborious, I imply that the wooden is dense, whereas, a gentle wooden is supple. A very good trick to inform the distinction between laborious and gentle wooden is that in case you press your fingernail right into a gentle wooden equivalent to pine, it leaves an indentation. However, this doesn’t occur with a tough wooden equivalent to oak.

Wooden is coarse-grain or close-grain. In coarse-grain wooden, the age rings within the wooden are far a component, giving it an uneven look. In close-grain woods, the age rings within the wooden are very shut collectively, giving it a easy, delicate look.

Typically, wooden is stained. Lighter woods equivalent to oak, elm and maple may be stained to resemble a darker mahogany or rosewood.

Some woods (mahogany, rosewood, burl walnut) are perceived to be extra priceless than different woods (elm, maple, spruce). The rationale for that is availability. Woods that have to be imported are dearer than home-grown woods. Woods which are considerable aren’t as costly as woods which are scarce.

Oak
Oak is a coarse-grain laborious wooden present in Europe and North America. Beginning in seventeenth century Europe, oak was used to make furnishings discovered all through the house. There are a number of varieties together with crimson oak and white oak. Younger oak is pale in shade. However, over time and with sprucing, oak darkens right into a wealthy brown shade.

Mahogany
Mahogany is a close-grain laborious wooden native to northern and central South America and the West Indies. Mahogany was a well-liked alternative in England through the mid-18th century for wonderful furnishings making. It’s a darkish crimson shade generally, nevertheless, it’s darkish brown. Pink mahogany is discovered within the West Indies and brown mahogany is native to South America. Mahogany furnishings continues to be fascinating immediately.

Rosewood
Rosewood is a close-grain laborious wooden indigenous to India, South America and the West Indies. Rosewood is called for the rose scent that releases when it’s minimize. Sometimes, I discover that folks confuse rosewood and mahogany. Each woods may be crimson in shade. Nevertheless, whenever you look carefully at rosewood, you may see wonderful black (and generally white) rings that aren’t current in mahogany. One other trick to inform if an merchandise is rosewood is to select it up. Rosewood is a really heavy wooden, heavier than mahogany. Within the seventeenth century China, rosewood was a well-liked alternative for wonderful furnishings makers. As effectively, in nineteenth century Europe, it was used to assemble better-quality furnishings for wonderful houses.

Walnut
Walnut is close-grain laborious wooden present in Europe and North America. The colour varies from mild to a really wealthy golden brown shade and it isn’t unusual to seek out walnut stained to seem like mahogany. Typically, illness results in the surprising. Burl walnut, essentially the most prized type of walnut, outcomes from a illness that assaults the tree inflicting a stupendous scrolled, close-grain. Lately you see the look of burl walnut replicated within the plastic interiors of some larger finish vehicles.

Pine
Pine is a pale, knotted gentle wooden with a large, straight grain. It grows in Europe and North America. Pine was typically utilized in furnishings meant to be painted. On a regular basis furnishings – kitchen tables and chairs -were typically made out of pine.

Maple & Elm
Maple and elm are coarse-grain laborious woods present in North America and Europe. They had been ceaselessly utilized in utilitarian furnishings. Usually a veneer of a finer wooden was utilized to those woods.

Veneers
Veneering is a method the place a really skinny sheet of a dearer wooden is glued to a inexpensive wooden. Utilizing inexpensive woods equivalent to elm and maple and including a dearer mahogany or walnut veneer allowed furnishings makers to supply furnishings that was reasonably priced for a bigger clientele. It’s possible you’ll hear an vintage seller say; “This desk is walnut on maple.” The seller signifies that the merchandise has a walnut veneer and beneath the precise merchandise is maple. A walnut on maple desk is much less priceless than a strong walnut desk.

How do you inform in case your furnishings is veneered? Have a look at the perimeters of the piece. When you see what seems to be a seam, it’s veneered. Alternatively, if the perimeters of the piece are seamless, it’s strong.

Early veneers from the seventeenth century had been hand-cut, so that they could possibly be uneven. However, within the nineteenth century veneers began to be minimize by machine. This allowed the veneers to be minimize very skinny and even. Relying on the best way the wooden is minimize, veneering produces totally different results. Butterfly veneering happens when two opposing finish grain veneers are diagonally minimize from a department. They’re utilized to reflect one another.

Marquetry/Parquetry/Inlay
Marquetry is a method the place varied sorts of wooden are utilized to a floor to provide an image. Flowers and birds had been typically the topics. Unique woods equivalent to ebony, satinwood and tulipwood had been ceaselessly employed.

The distinction between marquetry and parquetry is the subject material. Parquetry is a veneer that makes use of geometric patterns. These days, you see it in parquet hardwood flooring and ornate chess and backgammon boards.

Inlay is an ornamental remedy the place supplies apart from wooden are minimize right into a design. Inlays had been typically product of bone, ivory, mom of pearl, brass, tortoise shell. Marquetry, parquetry and inlay first appeared through the Italian Renaissance.

Gilding
Gilding is a method whereby gold leaf is utilized with gesso (a plaster-like substance) to wooden. It’s extremely ornamental and was fashionable through the Italian Renaissance and the Louis interval in France.

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Antiques – Wooden Fundamentals

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