This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
The discussion on "Inlaid Mahogany and Satinwood " constitutes perhaps the most interesting chapter in that fascinating volume, "Old English Furniture," by Frederick Fenn and B. Wyllie, just published by George Newnes, Ltd. (7s. 6d. net). Naturally it is chiefly concerned with Sheraton, with whom this dainty style of inlaying as a means of decorating furniture is identified, albeit it is by no means certain that it originated with that excellent artist. The doubt is frankly recognised by the authors. "Was Sheraton the introducer of satinwood, of kingwood, and of tulipwood?" is asked. "Did he, in seeking after colour, invent what is known as 'harewood,' which is sycamore dyed a delicate pale shade~of brown? Was it he who, dyeing sycamore, thought also of staining some white wood the delicate green, which seems most exquisite of all as a companion to the apricot of satinwood? iStrange woods had been used in the past (there were cabinets made of lignum vitae.- or guaiacum in Stuart times), was it seeing one of them that urged him to seek for new kinds? Or was it accident which brought satin-wood into England, and within his reach, just at that time? Accident, at any rate,idid not bring him harewood, or the green stained wood, both of which are peculiar to English furniture. Tulip-wood was much used in France to make cabinets and secretaries, but not to inlay with. However it came about, we are lucky in the possession of
Fig. 5 Another way OF "Bosting In"
Sheraton's furniture. His exquisite satinwood pieces it is impossible to reproduce, though the exact reproduction of all other, even the finest furniture, is, I know, possible for a consideration." We shall review the volume more fully later.
"Why must the background for statuary always be maroon or 'old gold' ?" someone asks. There is no such necessity. As a general rule, it is true, such warm neutral colours are considered safest; full colours are most desirable as a background for bronzes. As a background for marble statues or plaster, tender colours, as a rule, harmonise best. Delicate greens, azures and purple grays, citrons, lilacs and chocolates may all be suitable if in harmony with the general colour scheme.
Modern English Wood-carvers.