About Our Yew Wood Antique Reproduction Furniture
Yew is a fascinating and beautiful wood which, when used on our yew reproduction furniture, produces a wonderful and unique piece of furniture every time. Yew wood has been used to make furniture for 100's of years and is completely distinct from other woods, with patterns ranging from straight to swirly and with varying sizes and shapes of knots. Colours also vary in it's natural state from the pale yellow sap wood through to a deep orange found in the heart wood of the yew tree. Here is a typical sheet of yew veneer used on our yew reproduction furniture prior to sanding and polishing:
While the yew brings a lot of natural beauty to our yew reproduction furniture, we go one step further and use the addition of inlaying. Inlaying is the use of a contrasting wood to highlight the centre of a door, top or drawer to add interest. Typically with our yew furniture we use a black box wood line to separate the feature panel from the crossbanded edge, where we use yew again but with the grain running in the opposite direction to 'frame' the panel.
Here is an example of a yew sideboard door with a scallop inlay and crossbanded edge:
Yew is a tight, or close, grained wood and lends itself well to fine sanding and polishing. Once we have made a piece of our yew reproduction furniture we treat it to many layers of sealers and laquer to produce a wonderful deep patina that really shows off the wood's pattern and beauty.
Many shades of finish can be acheived from our light yew which basically the wood's naturally hue, through to medium yew - a warm golden orange, through to dark yew - a deep and vibrant shade. Here are examples of our yew colours:
Here is a brief description of the yew tree itself:
It is a small- to medium-sized evergreen tree, growing 10-20 metres (33-66 ft) (exceptionally up to 28 m/92 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) (exceptionally 4 m/13 ft) diameter. The bark is thin, scaly brown, coming off in small flakes aligned with the stem. The leaves are lanceolate, flat, dark green, broad, arranged spirally on the stem, but with the leaf bases twisted to align the leaves in two flat rows either side of the stem, except on erect leading shoots where the spiral arrangement is more obvious. The leaves are highly poisonous.
The formidable English military weapon of the Middle Ages -- the longbow -- was made of yew. In fact the law decreed only royal longbowman could have yew bows. Commoners had to settle for ash and elm. At times, yew became scarce, and the English had to import their bow wood from Spain and Italy. At the Battle of Crecy on August 26, 1346, the English devotion to yew longbows became well-justified. The rapid-firing longbowmen destroyed the French cavalry and carried the day.