Charles Philippe; 9 October 1757 – 6 November 1836, was known for most of his life as the Count of Artois before he reigned as King of France from 16 September 1824 until 2 August 1830. An uncle of the uncrowned King Louis XVII, and younger brother to reigning Kings Louis XVI and Louis XVIII, he supported the latter in exile and eventually succeeded him. His rule of almost six years ended in the July Revolution of 1830, which resulted in his abdication and the election of Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans, as King of the French. Exiled once again, Charles died in Gorizia, then part of the Austrian Empire.
The reign of Charles X is closely linked to the decorative style that carries his name. Furniture kept the heavy aspect it acquired during the Empire period, yet forms became suppler and lighter following the romantic trend and a renewed passion for the Gothic period. Society was also changing as the king no longer incarnated the taste to observe; now, decorative arts adapted themselves to the demands of the new bourgeois population.
The art of marquetry returned with decorative flowers, garlands and rosettes.
Many combinations of wood were used like burr ash or elm, maple, satin wood, sycamore, walnut were contrasted with types of rosewood, mahogany, ebony. Curved lines in furniture began to reappear.
Gonçalo Alves is a hardwood (from the Portuguese name, Gonçalo Alves). It is sometimes referred to as tigerwood — a name that underscore the wood’s often dramatic, contrasting color scheme.
While the sapwood is very light in color, the heartwood is a sombre brown, with dark streaks that give it a unique look. The wood’s color deepens with exposure and age and even the plainer-looking wood has a natural luster.
Two species are usually listed as sources for gonçalo alves: Astronium fraxinifolium and Astronium graveolens, although other species in the genus may yield similar wood; the amount of striping that is present may vary.
In the high tropical forests of Central and South America, well-drained soils furnish nutrients for a variety of dense, durable hardwoods sought for maritime use, heavyconstruction, and furniture. The Spanish began harvesting in Latin American forests in the early 1500s to provide timber for boatbuilding and repair. By the early 1900s, however, steel ships had replaced wooden ones, and the interest in tropical forests by both Europeans and Americans shifted to appearance-grade woods for furniture.
Although history fails to provide us with a shopping list of species from either harvest period, it's probable that the wood we know today as goncalo alves has always been sought. That's because goncalo alves, considered one of the most beautiful of tropical woods, has a tough reputation, too. Strong and durable, it's used for construction in its homeland and secondarily for fine furniture. Woodworkers elsewhere treasure the wood for decorative items and veneer accents.