Theodore Alexander products are custom-made by expert craftsmen using knowledge passed down through generations. Throughout the breadth of our line the defining element is quality in materials and construction. We build our products with the kind of attention to detail that will ensure each piece — with the proper care — will beautifully stand the test of time.
As the years pass, fine furnishings develop a natural patina. Inherent, enriching colour changes may occur in wood, leather and metal. Mahogany, as an example, may become paler with age, and cherry darker. Natural oak may yellow slightly over time. Brass may tarnish or take on a mottled appearance and bronze has a tendency to take on a sea-green tone. Iron may pit subtly and bone will darken. These changes should be expected and welcomed as signs of the authentic materials we use in the creation of our furniture and works of art. These are the hallmarks of true quality.
Tree growth is dependent on climate and soil, and because of this no two trees and no two pieces of furniture are identical. Finished wood, whether veneer or solid, typically exhibits those natural differences that are part of the inherent beauty of the timber. Small marks, cracks, mineral streaks and variations in grain are all natural features of wood.
Crotch mahogany veneers originate from the area between two large branches of a tree (also known as a crotch veneer) where different forces of nature are at work throughout a tree’s life. These forces push and pull the fibres of the wood, creating an exquisite surface grain. Even after the wood has been sliced and veneered, these forces are still at work. Over time, the grain may have a natural tendency to raise slightly and hairline cracks will appear. Again, these fine lines are indicative of an heirloom piece.
Just as climate affects the growth and appearance of trees, the climate in your home affects the timber of your furniture. Modern heating and air conditioning specifically have been known to create dry conditions in the home. These dry conditions may cause fine lines, known as crazing, to appear on veneered surfaces and where wood is joined. Crazing is not cause for concern as it’s often noted in heirloom-quality antiques and distinguishes real wood from synthetic materials. To minimize climactic effects in your home, avoid placing fine wood furnishings too close to radiators, vents or fireplaces, or in direct sunlight since this may also cause veneers to fade.
As with any piece of fine furniture, try not to place glasses, cups or hot objects directly on the surface. We recommend using coasters whenever possible. Ensure that any spill is wiped away immediately with a soft, clean cloth, particularly spills involving hot liquids or alcohol. Also take care when placing planters and vases on your furniture as they may scratch the surface. Additionally, when moving furnishings be sure to lift the piece. Dragging furniture is not recommended and may lead to broken legs or feet and destabilized joints.