I bought these goblets at a local antique store a couple weeks back. They were marked $6 for the pair but were then discounted to $3. I’m always on the lookout for stuff like this, some for my collection, others to possible reuse or repurpose the wood. These caught my attention because of the black color but I’m always wary that they may have been artificially darkened, painted, dyed, ebonized, or otherwise altered. There were some areas that seemed suspect, the finish appeared somewhat caked on, but I could see enough grain running from the stem to the cup, through the inside of the cup and up and out the other side that I was confident that the wood was pretty nice; even if it had been enhanced.
Tonight I took them out to the shop and took a little bit of 320 grit paper to parts of them. It turns out I was right, the had been altered, one whole side was clumsily painted black, but there was still some very nice grain underneath. I’m guessing they’re some kind of ebony, possibly Macassar Ebony but there’s no real way to tell. For now they’ll go back on the shelf until I either find the time to completely refinish them or find a way to incorporate them into another piece, perhaps as the stem on a elevated hollow form. $3 well spent in my opinion.
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