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Laburnum

Laburnum, also known as golden chain or golden rain, is a flowering tree that played a limited but noteworthy role in the decorative arts during the 17th & 18th centuries.

In the decorative arts, laburnum wood was occasionally used for certain furniture pieces and decorative objects. The wood of the laburnum tree has a fine grain and a warm golden-yellow colour, which made it attractive for creating small decorative items, such as boxes, picture frames, and inlays.

However, laburnum wood was not as widely used as some other hardwoods due to its relatively small size and limited availability. The laburnum tree is not very large, and its wood is not as strong or durable as other hardwoods like oak or mahogany. As a result, laburnum wood was more commonly employed for decorative accents and smaller pieces rather than for large furniture items.

Laburnum’s greatest decorative contribution came through its stunning and highly ornamental flowers. The pendulous, bright yellow flowers, arranged in long chains or clusters, lent themselves to floral ornamentation and design motifs in various decorative arts, including carving, marquetry, and pottery. These floral motifs often adorned furniture, woodwork, ceramics, textiles, and wallpapers, adding a touch of elegance and natural beauty to the decorative elements.

In the realm of landscape design, laburnum trees were valued for their showy flowers and were sometimes incorporated into formal gardens and estate landscapes to create stunning visual displays during the flowering season.

While laburnum wood and its floral motifs were not as prevalent as some other hardwoods and decorative motifs during the mentioned centuries, their occasional use added a distinctive and charming touch to the overall decorative landscape of the time. Today, laburnum wood and its floral motifs remain cherished elements in restoration projects and collector’s pieces, preserving their delicate and delightful appeal in the decorative arts.

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