The Kew Museum of Economic Botany holds an archive of wood samples originally belonging to the long-closed Museum of British Forestry: Caroline Cornish introduces the original early twentieth century wood museum here. This is the largest wood collection in Britain, including over 30,000 woods in both raw and crafted forms, including fossilised ancient Egyptian woods (such as coffin woods). The eighteen samples on display in this exhibition show competing historical inscriptions, labels, and engravings from the different layered histories of collecting and cataloguing. These include a piece of Buaze wood collected on Dr. Livingstone’s expedition in Africa, an example of canker fungus and blight in apple tree branches, and a Japanese spice box made of Momi Fir.
With thanks to Caroline Cornish and Mark Nesbitt at Kew.