It is finishing the frame/stage thing that is taking so long. I used three different types of wood: soft wood mouldings, hard wood ply and a bit of pine in there too. I have had to think very carefully how to unify these into a fake mahogany. If I paint on a stain the soft wood will go really dark, the pine is oily and will go streaky and the plywood? So my experiment so far has been to paint the frame with a very dilute layer of acrylic primer and then orange with acrylic paint. It is a bit more orange than the photo, something very odd with the colour as the carpet is really cream.
I then used equal parts of Burnt Umber and Burnt Sienna oil paint mixed with japan drier, brushed on quickly and then with a larger dry brush.
I may not have quite achieved mahogany but I did get an even unity. It does look like it is made from one brown wood and if I had some mahogany to reference I could fake it more convincingly. I think I will have to make surreptitious trips to the local antique centre with painted samples in my pocket until I get a perfect match. All my furniture here is oak.
I now need to get it a little darker and will add a layer of shellac and a second brown paint layer, then french polishing.