Antiques – Wooden Basics

Oak, mahogany, walnut, pine, rosewood, maple, elm you may possibly have some or all of these woods in your residence. But, do you know how to tell the big difference among them? In this month’s column, we’ll speak about the unique forms of wooden that are on a regular basis witnessed in antique home furniture and some common attractive treatment options.

The Basic principles
Wooden is tough or tender. When I say challenging, I imply that the wood is dense, while, a gentle wooden is supple. A good trick to explain to the variation involving difficult and soft wood is that if you push your fingernail into a smooth wooden such as pine, it leaves an indentation. But, this does not come about with a challenging wood these as oak.

Wood is coarse-grain or near-grain. In coarse-grain wood, the age rings in the wood are significantly a component, offering it an uneven visual appeal. In near-grain woods, the age rings in the wooden are very shut with each other, providing it a sleek, delicate appearance.

Occasionally, wood is stained. Lighter woods these types of as oak, elm and maple can be stained to resemble a darker mahogany or rosewood.

Some woods (mahogany, rosewood, burl walnut) are perceived to be more precious than other woods (elm, maple, spruce). The reason for this is availability. Woods that have to have to be imported are extra pricey than home-grown woods. Woods that are plentiful are not as highly-priced as woods that are scarce.

Oak
Oak is a coarse-grain hard wooden found in Europe and North The us. Setting up in 17th century Europe, oak was utilised to make furniture found in the course of the home. There are a number of varieties like purple oak and white oak. Younger oak is pale in coloration. But, in excess of time and with sharpening, oak darkens into a loaded brown coloration.

Mahogany
Mahogany is a close-grain hard wooden indigenous to northern and central South America and the West Indies. Mahogany was a well known preference in England for the duration of the mid-18th century for high-quality furnishings creating. It is a darkish pink shade sometimes, even so, it is darkish brown. Red mahogany is discovered in the West Indies and brown mahogany is indigenous to South The us. Mahogany household furniture carries on to be attractive these days.

Rosewood
Rosewood is a shut-grain hard wooden indigenous to India, South The us and the West Indies. Rosewood is named for the rose scent that releases when it is lower. Sometimes, I locate that folks confuse rosewood and mahogany. Both equally woods can be crimson in coloration. Even so, when you glimpse carefully at rosewood, you’ll see fine black (and in some cases white) rings that are not present in mahogany. An additional trick to explain to if an item is rosewood is to select it up. Rosewood is a extremely significant wooden, heavier than mahogany. In the 17th century China, rosewood was a common decision for great furnishings makers. As properly, in 19th century Europe, it was utilised to build superior-high quality furnishings for great homes.

Walnut
Walnut is close-grain difficult wood discovered in Europe and North The us. The colour varies from light to a extremely rich golden brown coloration and it is not uncommon to discover walnut stained to glimpse like mahogany. In some cases, disorder leads to the sudden. Burl walnut, the most prized type of walnut, success from a illness that assaults the tree causing a gorgeous scrolled, shut-grain. These times you see the glance of burl walnut replicated in the plastic interiors of some increased finish cars and trucks.

Pine
Pine is a pale, knotted tender wood with a large, straight grain. It grows in Europe and North America. Pine was typically used in household furniture meant to be painted. Daily furniture – kitchen tables and chairs -have been often produced from pine.

Maple & Elm
Maple and elm are coarse-grain really hard woods located in North The usa and Europe. They ended up often utilized in utilitarian home furniture. Typically a veneer of a finer wood was applied to these woods.

Veneers
Veneering is a procedure where by a pretty thin sheet of a much more expensive wooden is glued to a significantly less highly-priced wood. Working with significantly less highly-priced woods this kind of as elm and maple and adding a a lot more high-priced mahogany or walnut veneer allowed furniture makers to offer home furnishings that was cost-effective for a larger sized clientele. You may possibly listen to an antique dealer say “This table is walnut on maple.” The dealer implies that the product has a walnut veneer and beneath the precise product is maple. A walnut on maple desk is significantly less precious than a strong walnut desk.

How do you tell if your furniture is veneered? Seem at the edges of the piece. If you see what seems to be a seam, it is veneered. On the other hand, if the edges of the piece are seamless, it is strong.

Early veneers from the 17th century have been hand-slice, so they could be uneven. But, in the 19th century veneers began to be cut by device. This permitted the veneers to be cut really thin and even. Dependent on the way the wood is cut, veneering makes different effects. Butterfly veneering occurs when two opposing end grain veneers are diagonally cut from a department. They are used to mirror every single other.

Marquetry/Parquetry/Inlay
Marquetry is a procedure where by various sorts of wood are utilized to a surface area to develop a photo. Flowers and birds had been normally the subjects. Exotic woods these as ebony, satinwood and tulipwood ended up regularly utilized.

The big difference in between marquetry and parquetry is the matter make a difference. Parquetry is a veneer that employs geometric styles. Nowadays, you see it in parquet hardwood flooring and ornate chess and backgammon boards.

Inlay is a attractive treatment method exactly where materials other than wood are lower into a style and design. Inlays ended up normally made of bone, ivory, mother of pearl, brass, tortoise shell. Marquetry, parquetry and inlay 1st appeared all through the Italian Renaissance.

Gilding
Gilding is a method wherein gold leaf is utilized with gesso (a plaster-like material) to wood. It is remarkably decorative and was well known in the course of the Italian Renaissance and the Louis period in France.

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