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Rosewood (Sheesham)

The colour can vary from golden brown to deep purplish brown with darker brown streaks. The wood darkens with age, usually to a deep brown. Very durable and resistant to the elements. It is difficult to work with hand tools as the wood grains are strongly bonded together. Chalky deposits can sometimes appear in the wood material, dulling the edge of the working tool. It is also used to make furniture, guitars, tool handles, feed, posts and veneers. Since the 1960s, it has been widely used for guitar making in place of the endangered Brazilian rosewood.

Wood Care

It is recommended to treat with oil 1-2 times a year. Lemon, orange or teak oil is suitable. All that is needed is a dry cloth on which the oil is poured and rubbed over the furniture. If too much oil is applied to the furniture it can leave a greasy stain on the surface, so care must be taken with the amount of oil. Otherwise, excess oil can be wiped off with a plain dry cloth. Do not place it near a radiator, as it will expand if exposed to excessive heat. Since it is hardwood, it is difficult to dent or scratch. If this does happen, dents can be filled with putty knives and scratches can be repaired with a stain pen.


Rosewood is slow growing and its sustainability is threatened by over-exploitation of its timber and illegal logging. In Java and India, large plantations have been established to meet the demand for Indian rosewood, but it has been placed on the IUCN Red List as 'Vulnerable'. This means it is at high risk of extinction in the medium term. Export of Indian rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia) logs and timber is prohibited under the Indian Forest Act.

The Brazilian rosewood has been listed as a Level I Most Threatened tree species since 1972. Group I represents the species considered to be the most threatened and endangered species, and international trade in these species is accordingly the most restricted (in the case of timber, this includes finished wood products).

Due to increased exploitation in the context of the spread and popularity of rosewood furniture, since 2013 all rosewood species, including the Indian rosewood (sheesam), have been listed as endangered species in Group II, meaning that their exploitation is now strictly regulated and only possible in limited quantities under export permits.

This is one of the reasons why the furniture industry has started to replace the rosewood with the mango tree, which is a worthy counterpart to the rosewood in both quality and beauty, but is fully sustainable in terms of logging, ensuring the long-term survival of the species without causing environmental damage.

Book an appointment in our showroom online or call +36 20 326 8115

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