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Importers of antique and reproduction pine furniture from Great Britain and Europe

Antique Pine

There are over one hundred species of evergreen conifers in the genus, Pinus.  They are  native almost everywhere in the northern hemisphere and, because of their usefulness, many have been introduced and have thrived throughout most temperate and sub-tropical regions of the world.  

Pines were present in the ancient forests and most species can grow anywhere and in any type of soil.  Pine trees require sun but need very little water once they are full-grown.  Botanically, pine is a softwood.  That is, pines are evergreen trees with needles, as opposed to hardwoods, which are broadleaved trees which shed their leaves in winter.  This does not mean that pine is not durable.  Indeed, the pines themselves are commercially classified as hard or soft and there are many examples of pine furniture several hundred years old.

Pine trees yield a huge variety of objects useful to man and for centuries pine has been used to create a world of vernacular furniture and other utilitarian tools and vessels.  Antique pine furniture was and is functional; it works and it serves its purpose.  Not all antique pine is country furniture, though a great deal of country furniture is pine, built and decorated to serve the tastes and needs of farmers and workmen.  

Made close to home, sometimes by journeymen carpenters travelling from village to village, the design of much of this furniture was dictated by its purpose but it often mimicked, decades later and in a less sophisticated way, styles which originated in urban centres.  From the mid-nineteenth century onwards, as populations began to concentrate in the cities and centres of nascent industrial production all over Europe, pine was used to meet the furniture needs of the new economy.  

This furniture closely followed the stylistic fashion of the day, copying the design features used on more prestigious woods.  Often pine was finished to appear to be a different wood, sometimes as a disguise, sometimes in a stylised manner using graining and other techniques.

There is still a lot of pine furniture standing strong and upright after a century or two.  For over thirty years it has been our passion and our privelege to source the best of it and make it available to our customers.  Our antique pine furniture comes from all over Europe.  Some of it is painted, either decoratively, as in a dower chest, with an elaborate use of paints and colourful motifs, some monochrome, often with a worn top coat, naturally distressed by use to reveal traces of earlier coats beneath.Much of our stock is polished or stripped pine and was either always finished in wax or has had its old finishes stripped off before polishing.  We usually have some pieces in bare wood which can be finished to the customer's taste.

 

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