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All About Mahogany Furniture

Whichever story you believe, the general consensus amongst historians is that Walter Raleigh was responsible for introducing mahogany into Europe.
According to one story, Raleigh had some of his fleet repaired in Trinidad with mahogany planks and upon returning to England the wood used in these repairs was admired for it's appearance and properties.
The second story, and slightly more romantic one, is that Raleigh had a mahogany table made in the West Indies that he gifted to Queen Elizabeth I.
Generally mahogany is very durable and resistant to worms but does not cope very well with the elements and is prone to rapid decay if exposed to the weather.
Unknown to most people is that mahogany wood comes in quite a few different types, below are the main types you're likely to encounter.
Honduran Mahogany Mostly from Central America and it's trading is now strictly controlled by conservation laws due to it being classed as endangered.
An extremely durable and stable wood making it popular in boat construction as well as in the manufacture of musical instruments.
It's colour can range from a light reddish brown to amber and has remarkable patterning.
Cuban Mahogany; Commonly referred to as true mahogany and used extensively in Spanish ship building during the 16th century, hence it commonly being referred to as Spanish Mahogany.
It was also extremely popular with fine furniture makers and as a result it is now rare to find a specimen of commercial size.
Originally from the Cuban forests that have since been decimated and examples can now be found along the eastern region of Central America.
African Mahogany; Used increasingly for the manufacture of furniture as Cuban Mahogany became more and more scarce.
Less versatile than Cuban Mahogany due to it being less durable but still stronger than most alternative woods.
Sadly as it slowly replaced the ever decreasing supply of Cuban Mahogany it started becoming rarer in the 1940's and is also now classed as endangered.
Makore Mahogany; Also known as Cherry Mahogany and originating from Sierra Leone, Gabon and East liberia.
Typically Makore Mahogany has an uneven growth pattern that lends it well to decorative applications such as veneering and inlays.
Philippine Mahogany; Grown mostly in the Philippine islands and also in Indochina.
Despite it's name it is not a true mahogany and the term Philippine Mahogany actually encompasses a wide range of species that can have wildly differing characteristics.


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