Bowett charts the species, sources, and history of the woods used in British furniture making from medieval times to the twentieth century. The main dictionary section of the book has 460 entries that cover 477 species of hardwoods and softwoods and detail the history of each wood, describe its uses, and provide cross references to other woods. Extensively illustrated with examples of historic furniture, this book also includes an introductory survey of the historic timber trade and several appendices, including over 160 illustrated wood samples from the Economic Botany collection at Kew Gardens. The layout and accompanying photographs make this a valuable and accessible read that will interest furniture and antique enthusiasts, collectors, restorers, curators, and botanists, among others.
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"Bowett's knowledge of the field is incomparable – and to the benefit of the reader, accessible, digestible, and useful." (Henry Berry Antiques Today)
"[T]his is a quite exceptional book in every aspect, from its intellectual conception to its superb production. The author proves an impeccable guide to the material he surveys. The breadth and depth of treatment means that the book will appeal to those interested in every aspect of furniture-making in Britain and elsewhere and in the world timber trade. This is a definitive work which will be used for decades to come." (Art Libraries Journal)
"In an age where wood is once again fashionable and topical, this volume should be at the bench of young, contemporary makers or beside the laptops of our furniture history students." (West 86th)
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