Rosewood refers to a variety of different species of heavy, dense, dark-streaked timbers. It is commonly believed that rosewood got its name from its rose-like scent, but this is not the case. Its signature characteristic is the streaky purple-black figure.
Rosewood has been imported from Brazil since trade routes opened in 1808. Indian rosewood was introduced in the late 1750s and called black rosewood and was also known as East Indian Blackwood or Sissoo.
Rosewood was popular during the Georgian era as a veneer in bandings and small panels. Thomas Chippendale created ‘A Lady’s commode writing table made of tulip and rosewood’ for Sir Rowland Winn at Nostell in 1766. As fashions shifted away from neo-classicism and toward the Regency era, rosewood gained in popularity for its rich colouring and bold figuring. The richness of the rosewood was often used by cabinetmakers to contrast with brass inlay and ormolu mounts.
We are delighted to share one of our latest acquisitions: this very fine William IV rosewood centre table is Johnstone Jupe & Co of New Bond Street, London. The table features a circular top in rosewood of the most magnificent figuring and colour. The top with its shallow frieze stands above a tripartite central column and triform base on turned feet of a complimentary design.
To see more pieces of rosewood furniture in our collection, have a look on our website.