Bowett charts the species, sources, and history of the woods used in British furniture making from medieval times to the twentieth century. The main dictionary section of the book has 460 entries that cover 477 species of hardwoods and softwoods and detail the history of each wood, describe its uses, and provide cross references to other woods. Extensively illustrated with examples of historic furniture, this book also includes an introductory survey of the historic timber trade and several appendices, including over 160 illustrated wood samples from the Economic Botany collection at Kew Gardens. The layout and accompanying photographs make this a valuable and accessible read that will interest furniture and antique enthusiasts, collectors, restorers, curators, and botanists, among others.
Adam Bowett is an independent furniture historian. He has published widely in academic and popular journals and is the author of two books on English furniture. He works as a consultant to museums and auction houses, as well as to organizations such as the National Trust, Historic Scotland and Historic Royal Palaces.