Ancient Kauri Desk by Ancientwood Ltd
My father is a carpenter. All my life I have had exquisite pieces of his handcrafted furniture, from my bureau to my bed and my bookshelves. He has spent many hours lovingly designing, sanding, staining and building furniture at my request (I guess you could say everything I have is unique, which makes me incredibly lucky. I absolutely love beautiful, unique pieces of log furniture. While my father is an amazing carpenter, he has never produced anything quite like this Ancient Kauri Desk by Ancientwood Ltd. This desk (and, indeed, the wood itself) is truly stunning.
This ‘ancient’ desk is made of ancient kauri, (the proper name is Agathis austalis), which is a relatively small genus of only 21 species of evergreen tree. The genus is part of the ancient Araucariaceae family of confers, a group that was widespread during the Jurassic period but is now largely restricted to the Southern Hemisphere. The type of kauri from which this desk is made is regarded as the oldest wood available anywhere in the world and comes from deep underground in New Zealand. Although it is over 50,000 years old, it is as workable as newly-harvested wood. Ancient kauri has a beauty often described a unique and powerful. The grain and tones are lovely and have a natural shimmering iridescence. This glow only adds to its beauty and emphasizes that it is no ordinary timber, but something quite special. The ancient kauri is the most exotic wood from an extremely old growth timber, but the best part about it is that it is made available through environmentally friendly methods since not one tree is cut down in order to harvest it. The only problem: there is a very limited amount of ancient kauri on the planet and being a proud owner of this ‘jewel’ timber can be costly. But what does price matter when you are an owner and steward of such incredible quality log furniture?
Robert Teisberg, cabinetmaker and co-owner of Ancientwood Ltd., a woodworking, distribution and wholesale company located in Ashland, Wisconsin, is in the business of wood… but not just any wood. Teisberg’s company, formed in 2003, employs 5 employees and has exclusive rights to be able to sell ancient kauri in both Canada and the United States, though they have sold wood and log furniture to over 30 countries. Prices for this rare wood cost from $25 a board foot, to $300 a board foot… or more. Customers are able to visit Ancientwood Ltd.’s website or warehouse, or even e-mail or call, view pictures and receive quotes for high-quality log furniture projects – from tables and chairs, to desks, mantles and even canoes. Each piece is designed with the client in mind, making all pieces incredibly rare, bespoke log furniture. One of Ancientwood Ltd.’s pride and joy pieces is the two-piece 40 foot long, 5 inch thick table they designed and crafted from ancient kauri for a client in Colorado. Unfortunately, with a price tag of approximately $100,000 I won’t be adding it to my log furniture collection anytime soon!
Despite the major appeal of ancient kauri, many major distributors have been hesitant to catch-on to the trend. Part of the issue is that they aren’t comfortable with how the wood works and reacts. Also, skeptics have questioned the authenticity of the wood’s age, despite the fact the wood has been carbon-dated and comes with a gold foil certificate of authenticity. This, combined with recessions have made times difficult for Teisberg and his employees, but they remain committed to making the wood and the company work. And I hope all works out, because this wood and the furniture created from it is absolutely stunning.
Learn MORE at Ancientwood, Ltd