Maple

Wood from the European and American maple has been used by furniture-makers in America and Russia since the 17th century, and in early 18th-century Boston it was used to make furniture of exceptional quality. By the late 18th century it was widely used in central Europe—not only for furniture but also for print frames—and in the early 1820s French cabinetmakers began to value maple for its decorative effects. (e.g. maple armchair inlaid with purple-wood, c. 1830; Paris, Mus. A. Déc.). Varieties include sugar maple (Acer saccharum), silver maple (Acer saccarinum), box elder (Acer negundo) and red maple (Acer rubrum; the source of ‘curled maple’ and ‘tiger maple’). Bird’s-eye maple is the wood of the sugar maple when full of little knotty spots; burr (or burl) maple is the decorative grainy wood near the root of the maple tree.
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© Grove Art / OUP

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