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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ebenales
Family: Ebenaceae
Genus: Diospyros
D. ebenum Indian and Ceylon ebony
D. melanoxylon Coromandel ebony
D. montana
D. quaesita
D. dendo black ebony

Ebony is the wood of several species of the genus Diospyros.

The legendary blackness of its timber has given rise to many a metaphor cliché. Macassar ebony from the island of Celebes has been especially prized for its streaked veneers.

In Antwerp at the end of the 16th century, fine cabinets for the luxury trade were made of ebony, whose dense hardness lent itself to refined moldings framing finely detailed pictorial panels with carving in very low relief (bas-relief), usually of allegorical subjects, or taken from classical or Christian history. Within a short time, such cabinets were also being made at Paris, where their makers became known as ébénistes, which remains the French term for 'cabinet-makers'.

See also: Ebony magazine.