Thakeham Furniture - Antique Furniture Shop, Petworth, West Sussex, UK

Antique mahogany furniture


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Thakeham Furniture predominately sells fine antique mahogany furniture.
There are over sixty varieties of mahogany, the first being imported from Portugal in the sixteenth century. From the seventeenth century mahogany was used extensively from the West Indies and Central America much of it coming over in ships as ballast. In 1725 the removal of tax on wood imports lead to a great increase on the use of mahogany in our furniture manufacturing. Mahogany is now protected and little if any is available in today’s market.


Mahogany is a dense hard wood, taking many years to grow. It is a good timber to work with, finishing well. The common mahogany species used in antique furniture were cuban mahogany, honduras mahogany and brazilian mahogany. Cuban mahogany is a very dense, heavy and dark timber from the West Indies. Honduras mahogany is a lighter weight mahogany and easy to work with, it comes from the mainland around Honduras. Brazilian mahogany is a faster growing timber from central and South America. This timber is more flexible than the others and with a more open grain has been used widely in the furniture manufacturing in the twentieth century.


The lovely thing with antique mahogany furniture is the way in which every piece of mahogany has a different figure, grain and colour. Mahogany can be straight grained and this is usually the case on the sides of a chest of drawers, you also have figured mahogany often used where it is on show and likewise fiddle back mahogany which is often used in veneer form. Flame mahogany can only really be used in veneer form overwise it would twist and warp out of shape.


The wonderful thing about all mahogany is the variety of colours it can be. The figure, colour and patination of good antique mahogany are all important to Thakeham Furniture and we scour the countryside looking for this type of antique furniture. This is the type of furniture that has been passed down through generations and most importantly it has been used, but also cared for thereby giving it the all important 'skin'. Far too many dealers are guilty of over restoring and removing the old wax finish sanding it down taking any patination away. Unfortunately this is the furniture that most people see and thereby believe how it should look.


Please come and visit Thakeham Furniture in Horsham, West Sussex and see a large range of fine antique mahogany furniture.