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NOTE: there is rarely any "standard" or "typical" look for a wood so take what's in this table with a grain of salt
the REST of the pictures on this page will give you a better overall feel for this wood

kingwood / Dalbergia cearensis

Dalbergia cearensis of the family Fabaceae (syn Leguminosae) the legume, pea, or bean family, native to Brazil. There is a closely related wood, Dalbergia congestiflora which is on this site as camatillo rosewood, but it is also known as Mexican kingwood (it is native to Mexico).

3" x 3" flat cut, 3" x 3" quartersawn, 3/4" wide end grain, and a 1/4" x 1/4" end grain closeup.

Diffuse porous with small pores arranged randomly, some ailiform parenchyma, weak diffuse-in-aggregates parenchyma, and vague to nonexistent growth rings. A rich purple color is normal.

The name "kingwood" derives from the fact that a couple of hundred years ago, this was the favored wood of French kings for their furniture. I'm not sure about this but I believe that back in those days no distinction was made between Dalbergia cearensis and Dalbergia congestiflora.



my samples:
NOTE: these pics were all taken in very bright incandescent lighting ("soft white" at 2700K)
colors will vary under other lighting conditions


NOT A RAW WOOD COLOR --- both faces of this sample have a light coat of clear paste wax but kingwood is a very rich looking wood anyway, so I don't think the wax made a huge difference in the color.
both sides of a sample plank of kingwood / Dalbergia cearensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of kingwood / Dalbergia cearensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The first side is fine sanded and so shows a slightly richer color and better end grain details in the enlargements


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of kingwood / Dalbergia cearensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The reason for the color difference between the two sides is that the labeled side is raw with a mild patina and the 2nd side is sanded to 240 grit. The sanded side is the "normal" color for kingwood. I note that the vendor has the specific epithet misspelled as "caerensis"


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


small slab and end grain of Brazilian kingwood --- color is very accurate; this is the classic purple of Brazilian kingwood


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


a nice big "turning stick", 3"x3"x12"


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


small plank and end grain of Brazilian kingwood


end grain closeup of the piece directly above --- even though a lot of the coarse sanding marks are still present, this butt end has been fine sanded and feels like glass. The pores may have filled somewhat with fine dust.


a sample from the same plank as the one above, but this one has been oiled


scanned image of a bowl blank. Pic contributed by John Fuher whom I thank for this and many other contributions to the site.


veneer from several different flitches --- colors are accurate throughout with the exception that in a couple of cases, the sapwood is shown as a brighter yellow than the wood really is.


Brazilian kingwood veneer


kingwood veneer --- HUGE enlargements are present. This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION D


quartersawn kingwood veneer from COLLECTION E --- HUGE enlargements are present. Some of the darkening may be dirt but I think it's mostly just an age patina.

web pics:


log sections of Brazilian kingwood --- both enlargements available on the first image; I believe the 2nd image is of a waxed end


planks



both sides of the same plank and a closeup of one portion of it


plank and closeup


plank and closeup


plank and closeup


plank and closeup


plank and closeup


turning stock


turning sticks --- the wood in the 2nd pic shows up much better in the enlargement


Brazilian kingwood planks


Brazilian kingwood scales


scales


small bookmatched pairs


planks --- I'm not sure about the violet color, but it could be OK.


two sets of pen blanks that have all been oiled and waxed


flat cut veneer --- based on what I've seen, it is my impression that kingwood is almost never cut into veneer in any form OTHER than flat cut, and that makes sense, because it it is the striking flat cut grain pattern that is particularly attractive in this wood, as you can see from the pictures. Here (directly below) is the only pic I've ever seen of quartersawn veneer.


flat cut veneer with unlikely color


quartersawn veneer


more flat cut veneer, all from the same sheet --- the first two pics are closeups of the last pic


2 shots of the same set of veneer sheets


pen blanks


bowl blanks (most are waxed)


turning stock, waxed





boths sides of a plank and a closeup --- this is from the BogusColorVendor, so the brightness of the colors is unlikely


another plank from the same vendor, with the same unlikely bright colors


another plank, this one with too much red but not as grossly exaggerated as the one above




bowls (not mine) --- very nice and with excellent color representation


bowl




bowls by Bryan Nelson (NelsonWood). Bryan fine-polishes his bowls with 1200 or even higher grit sandpaper while they are spinning at high speed on the lathe and then finishes them there with a friction polish of his own devising, thus achieving a shine and color vibrancy that is beautiful to behold. The first two of these are just 4" across, the 3rd one is 5" across. The colors on these seem much too bright-red to me. The bowls above this are more the color I expect from kingwood.




a kingwood highlight on one of my laminated bowls (the enlargement really shows it off better)