A 19th century cast iron and mahogany book press, the heavy iron press with an arched frame supporting a threaded shaft and a rectangular plate, above a rectangular mahogany body with two drawers and rectangular supports, 46 x 110 x 38 cm
mahogany. Mahogany is a dense, close grained red-coloured timber from the West Indies and Central America. It was first imported into Europe in the the early 18th century and its use continued through the 19th century. It was popular for furniture making because of its strength, the wide boards available, the distinctive grain on some boards, termed flame mahogany and the rich warm colour of the timber when it was polished.. The "flame" was produced where a limb grew out from the trunk of the tree, and this timber was usually sliced into veneers for feature panels on doors, backs and cornices.
Some terms used to describe mahogany relate to the country from which it originally came, such as "Cuban" mahogany, "Honduras" mahogany etc. However unless the wood has been tested the names assigned are more a selling feature, rather than a true indication of the timber's origin.
The buyers premium is an additional percentage charge on the hammer price of the item, imposed by the auction house to cover administrative costs. The buyers premium percentage varies between auction houses, with a range of 12.5% to 22%.