Throwback Thursday: Sabicu Fireplace

Throwback Thursday - Fireplace
May 23 2019 | Castle History

Throwback Thursday - Fireplace

This Throwback Thursday photograph from the beginning of the 20th century shows a group of craftsmen in Elgin Studio in Trafalgar Square, the workspace of William Silver Frith. In the background can be seen the carved sabicu fireplace and panelling being made for the Library at Hever Castle. The sabicu was cut and carved in London and brought to Hever in finished sections ready to install.

Sabicu wood (Lysiloma Sabicu) can be found in the West Indies and is mid-brown in colour, sometimes with a reddish tone, dense and hard-wearing. The wood has been used in construction, shipbuilding and in furniture making (although its weight is a disadvantage for this purpose). The stairs of The Crystal Palace in London, in which The Great Exhibition of 1851 was held, were made of sabicu due to its resilience. Despite the enormous traffic that passed over them, the wood at the end was found to be little affected by wear.

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