Furniture woods........... Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary


Walnut is a native wood, but is used in such prodigious quantity that it is also imported. Well seasoned it is exceedingly tough and little inclined to warp.

Colors: Light to dark chocolate brown

Properties: Walnut is strong, hard and durable, without being excessively heavy. It has excellent woodworking qualities, and takes finishes well. The wood has a straight grain in the trunk. Wavy grain is present toward the roots, and walnut stumps are often dug out and used as a source of highly figured veneer. Large burls are common. Walnut solids and veneers show a wide range of figures, including strips, burls, mottles, crotches, curls and butts. European walnut is lighter in color and slightly finer in texture than American black walnut, but otherwise comparable.


Walnut and oak were the primary cabinet making woods in 17th century Europe . Walnut and mahogany were the primary woods of the 18th century. In 18th century America , walnut was often stained to imitate mahogany.

"Age of Walnut": The Restoration, Stuart, William and Mary, and Queen Anne periods in England, which ran from about 1660 to 1714. Walnut was the dominant furniture and interior show wood.

See also: laminated ..... veneered ..... inlay ..... marquetry

Photos below are not necessarily accurate to scale or color



Unfinished / Treated with chromkali dye
Hofmobileliendepot Imperial Furniture Collection,Vienna, Austria On display in 2005

Pyramid walnut. Unfinished / With sanding oil, treated, primed, and polished
Hofmobiliendepot Imperial Furniture Collection,Vienna, Austria. On display in 2005.

Special thanks to Arthur Werner for his assistance.
Examples of his craftsmanship can be seen at
Church of the Advent - Carvings and Needlepoint and at Altar - St. John's Grace Episcopal Church

Photos and their arrangement © 2005 Chuck LaChiusa
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