International Colonial Exhibition of Paris 1931

May 6, 1931 - November 15, 1931


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Colonial Woods

manque image

Architect(s) : Leroy et Gury

Wood craftsmen, who are the custodians of the magnificent French traditions and whose furniture has conquered the world with its style, here is displayed before you a lively and formidable catalogue of the most beautiful materials destined for your talent, your skill. You are not one of those who believe that Africa is a desert dotted with rare palm trees. You know that every year your colonies in the black countries alone provide you with considerable quantities of mahogany, okoumé and woods so diverse that the enumeration of their qualities and uses would alone require a book.

Foreign countries, especially America, have literally pounced on our tropical forests. So much so that exports from Africa alone rose from 32,000 tons in 1919 to 533,000 tons or 800,000 cubic metres in 1928, of which only two-fifths went to France. This is because we have always remained at the time when "island woods" were rare, transported on small sailing ships, under the weight of spices and sugar, burdened by the risks of the sea and piracy. Mahogany was then a luxurious wood compared to the oak forests in which France was rich. Today, mahogany and okoumé are, on the contrary, less expensive than the oak and pitch pine of the North.

May this Exhibition convince you, dear Visitor, that your doors, your parquet floors and your furniture could be made of these prestigious woods that tropical nature is constantly recreating at a good price, with their ever-renewed figures and moire.

©Guide officiel - Exposition Coloniale Internationale - Paris 1931