Glossary of Woods Used in French Furniture from the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection

In the list of materials at the beginning of each entry, woods that are marked with an asterisk have been identified by microscopic examination of their cellular anatomy. These identifications have been made by Bruce Hoadley of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst or Arlen Heginbotham of the Getty Museum. Woods without an asterisk have been tentatively identified based on their macroscopic appearance.

alderAlnus spp.aulne
amaranth (purpleheart)Peltogyne spp.amarante
Andaman padaukPterocarpus dalbergioidespadauk d’Andaman
ashFraxinus spp.frêne
barberryBerberis spp.épine-vinette
bloodwood (satiné)Brosimum rubescenssatiné
boxwoodBuxus sempervirensbuis
cedarCedrus spp.cèdre
cherryPrunus spp.merisier or cerisier
ebonyDiospyros spp.ébène
ferréol (wamara)†Swartzia sp.ferréol
firAbies spp.sapin
fruitwoodfamily Rosaceaetribu du pommier
hollyIlex aquifoliumhoux
hornbeamCarpinus betuluscharme
Japanese arborvitaeThuja standishiithuya du Japon
juniperJuniperus spp.genévrier
kingwoodDalbergia cearensisbois de violette
Macedonian pinePinus peucepin de Macédoine
mahoganySwietenia spp.acajou
mapleAcer spp.érable
oakQuercus spp.chêne
padaukPterocarpus spp.padouk or corail
pearPyrus spp.poirier
poplarPopulus spp.peuplier
rosewoodDalbergia spp.palissandre
red oakQuercus sect. Lobataechêne rouge d’Amérique
service treeSorbus domesticacormier
Spanish cedarCedrela spp.cèdre
stone pinePinus cembraarolle or pin cembro
sycamore mapleAcer pseudoplatanusérable sycomore or simply sycomore
tulipwoodDalbergia decipularisbois de rose
walnutJuglans spp.noyer
white oakQuercus sect. Quercuschêne
white pinePinus subsect strobuspin blanc

† There is no recognized common name in English for the unidentified species of Swartzia that was called fereol in eighteenth-century France. In modern English “wamara” is commonly used to refer to any of a number of species of Swartzia and was used in , 176–77; however, for specificity, we have chosen to use the modern French term according to .


Viaux-Lauquin 1997
Viaux-Lauquin, Jacqueline. Les bois d’ébénisterie dans le mobilier français. Paris: Léonce Laget, 1997.
Wilson et al. 2008
Wilson, Gillian, Charissa Bremer-David, Jeffrey Weaver, Brian Considine, Arlen Heginbotham, Katrina Posner, and Julie P. Wolfe. French Furniture and Gilt Bronzes: Baroque and Régence; Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008.