Mahogany - The Furniture Timber

Mahogany - The Furniture Timber

Mahogany has long been used to make some of the finest, classic furniture. It was used to make the finest furniture for wealthy owners of the most sought after town houses. From huge antique dining tables to gorgeous antique chairs, Mahogany has been used to make some of the most hard wearing wooden furniture we will ever see.

Antique cabinet makers favoured mahogany due to it's density, which made it suitable to cope with elaborate and intricate carvings, along with features such as the flowing curves of cabriole legs. Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian furniture was often made using mahogany, alongside oak, rosewood and walnut. The hardwood shows a deep, reddish-brown colour, which is warm and inviting, and perfectly complemented the colours used during these periods. 

It was commonly used to craft furniture such as antique dining tables, wardrobes, sideboards, and cabinets, due to the large trunks of the mahogany trees. The long and wide tree trunks lent themselves extremely well to larger pieces of furniture - the average tree girth is between 3ft and 6ft! 

It is incredibly resistant to moisture and has a very respectable resistance to rot, and is frequently used in boat making. Mahogany furniture is less likely to respond to seasonal changes like humidity. It won't easily warp, swell or shrink when exposed to sunlight or damp. Durable and strong along with it's cooperative nature, it was the perfect timber for furniture making.

Chest of Drawers

Mahogany chest of drawers

Antique dining tables

Beautiful mahogany dining tables

Antique mirrors

Mahogany wall mirrors

Appearance wise, mahogany furniture can be quite traditional.  It can be easily used when furnishing traditional stately homes, but is equally at home in a modern contemporary interiors as accent pieces. If you're looking to buy antique furniture, mahogany furniture pieces are reliable and sturdy.

You'll find that many Sheraton (cabinet-maker associated with the styles of furniture fashionable in the 1790s and early 19th century) and Chippendale (cabinet-maker in London, designing furniture in the mid-Georgian, English Rococo, and Neoclassical styles) pieces of furniture now use mahogany rather than walnut.

Dining chairs for sale

Sheraton style dining chairs

Dining furniture for sale

Chippendale style dining chairs

The commercial importance of the wood is huge. Mahogany arrived in England at a time when the most commonly used wood of the 17th century, European walnut was running out. The French banned the exportation of the wood in the early 1700s. The wood still suffers from over-harvesting, and many furniture makers have taken the decision not to use mahogany in the production of their  modern furniture. By using antique mahogany furniture such as dining tables, we are conserving natural resources using an alternative form of recycling, and reducing the carbon footprint by using a piece of furniture that has already been produced (Check out 'Antiques Are Green' for more information on how antiques are green http://www.antiquesaregreen.org).


Featured Mahogany Furniture

Antique Mahogany Chest of Drawers

19th Century bedroom storage, turned ebonised handles, cock beading and escutcheons on turned legs.

Antique Mahogany Extending Dining Table

Moulded edge on simple turned tapering legs and original castors.

Pair Mahogany Balloon Back Dining Chairs

Beautiful pair of solid mahogany dining chairs with tapestry seats.

Victorian Mahogany Bookcase

Late Victorian glazed mahogany bookshelf with cupboards.

Pair Antique Victorian Hall Chairs

 Solid mahogany with ornate scrolled back.

18th Century Card Table

Mahogany table with exotic hardwood crossbanded top. 


Kernow Furniture - online store based in Cornwall for vintage, retro & antique furniture, gifts & home accessories and quirky gifts.

We specialise in good quality 19th and 20th century furniture & have 100s of items for your home and garden in stock now. We regularly stock Ercol, G Plan, Ladderax, mid century, arts & crafts, antique pine, mahogany, solid oak, good quality vintage & antique furniture. We love vintage chairs!

September 27, 2017 by Benita Ellis-Kelly

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