Fred Ward pair of blackwood chairs, together with seat cushions Provenance: Australian National University, Canberra
blackwood. One of the best known and most widely used Australian timbers, blackwood is a member of the Acacia (wattle) family and grows in eastern Australia from about Adelaide in South Australia, as far north as Cairns in Queensland.
The largest, straightest and tallest trees come from the wet forest and swamps of north-west Tasmania where it is grown commercially.
Blackwood timber colours range across a wide spectrum, from a very pale honey colour through to a dark chocolate with streaks of red tinge. However, the straight grain timber is not the most prized or valuable, that honour falls to blackwood with a wavy, fiddleback pattern, which is used both in the solid and as a veneer. Fiddleback was only used on the finest examples of furniture.
The timber became popular for furniture-making around 1880 and its use has continued in limited quantities to the present time.
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%.