Collecting Faux Bamboo

In the world of cabinetmakers and other craftsmen, sometimes fake or faux is better than real. Furniture from earlier centuries had painted wood grain (faux bois) or special stains that made the wood look like a more expensive variety.

During the late 19th century, bamboo was popular as both supports and trim on furniture. It was an exotic wood that fit in with the Victorian Aesthetic Period, which was inspired by Asian designs. But bamboo is not strong enough for hardwood cabinets and chairs, so makers made wooden turned rods that resembled bamboo, then painted and stained them to look even more realistic.  The style was popular during the rococo revival period....1880 to 1900....and well after.
Collectors today, like myself own several variations of faux bamboo - from small tables, to flatware with faux bamboo handles, to large faux bamboo bedroom sets and chairs. The key is good design and workmanship.

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