Bob Teisberg, owner of the sole U.S. Ancient kauri distributor, Ancientwood, based in La Pointe, WI, says the 42-inch by 94-inch table, named Kahiko or Ancient One, is one of a kind.
“It has the most intense curl shimmer I’ve ever seen in this species,” he says, and Teisberg should know. He has been fabricating Ancient kauri furniture for more than a decade. “The intensity of the curl is really phenomenal. When people see it in person, it doesn’t look flat.”
To enhance the 3D shimmer inherent to Ancient kauri, a great deal of time was spent in the sanding process. Teisberg says that the wood was polished to 1,000 to 1,200 grit before the finish was applied. “The reason it is polished so fine is to make the shimmer really come alive,” he explains.
The tabletop was constructed with two book-matched pieces of finished Ancient kauri with the natural edges facing the center of the table. The base consists of engineered wood and carbon fiber.
One of the aims of the Kahiko table design was to highlight the Ancient kauri tabletop. “We didn’t spend a lot of time on sophisticated joinery (for the base) because we wanted the wood to speak for itself,” he says. The base was fabricated with engineered plywood and carbon fiber. The top arms of the table base have Ancientwood’s patented carbon fiber superplanks, to which the Ancient kauri tabletop is attached.
Those superplanks are a series of carbon fiber and hard maple box-beams that create a very stable and stiff backing for the conifer Ancient kauri, Teisberg says, while presenting a low profile in the overall appearance of the table.
“The Ancient kauri tabletop is bolted to the superplanks with machine screws,” he adds. The threaded brass inserts are set into the bottom of the Ancient kauri table to receive the machine screws, which come through the superplank in oversized holes. Those holes will allow for the seasonal movement of the Ancient kauri while holding the tabletop flat and secure.
It took eight months to build this table, and it’s worth $100,000, Teisberg says. “The price of the table reflects the unparalleled collector quality of the piece.”
Teisberg started Ancientwood in 2006 after developing a partnership with New Zealand-based Ancient Kauri Kingdom to sell the wood exclusively in the U.S. Ancient Kauri Kingdom extracts the logs, which are found just beneath the surface of peat swamps, with heavy machinery. The logs are then milled and sold either through its retail shop or distributors like Ancientwood.
What makes Ancient kauri priceless? Its iridescent shimmer that is similar to ripples in the sea or waves in the sand, and its age. Buried and preserved for thousands of years in the bogs of Northern New Zealand, Ancient kauri can date up to 50,000 years old. Native to New Zealand, Ancient kauri is a member of the conifer family. Ancientwood.com
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