Canterbury is a piece of portable, occasional furniture, consisting of an open-topped rack with slatted compartments for sheet music, music books, magazines or newspapers and often a drawer underneath as well; rests on four legs, which are typically on casters.
It was developed in the 1780s in England (reputedly deriving its name from the Archbishop of Canterbury, who commissioned one), it grew increasingly ornate throughout the 19th century: Victorian pieces often have an upper galleried shelf, and panels shaped like lyres or treble clefs.
is probably one of the largest ‘families’ of hardwood, having many different varieties within its own species.
Mahogany has been used for centuries in ship building, house building, furniture making etc and is the core structure of just about every 19th century vanity box, dressing case or jewellery box. It became more of a Victorian trend to dress Mahogany with these decorative veneers, such as Rosewood, Kingwood, Burr Walnut and Coromandel, so that the actual Mahogany was almost hidden from view.
Mahogany itself is a rich reddish brown wood that can range from being plain in appearance to something that is so vibrant, figured and almost three dimensional in effect.
Although Mahogany was most often used in its solid form, it also provided some beautifully figured varieties of veneer like ‘Flame’ Mahogany and ‘Fiddleback’ Mahogany (named after its preferred use in the manufacture of fine musical instruments).
Cuban Mahogany was so sought after, that by the late 1850′s, this particular variety became all but extinct.