Wallpaper from Wood Samples

[WP03]Pink Ivory(Rhamnus zeyheri)

This wood grows in South Africa and is one of the rarest woods in the world, being offered for sale in the US for as much as $20 per pound. An interesting anecdote about the wood is that it is the royal wood of the Zulu tribe and may be cut only by the chief and his sons. When a chief's son is able to fell a tree and fashion a spear from the wood, he is considered to have reached manhood. Death is the penalty for any other member of the tribe who cuts or possesses the wood. It exhibits a brilliant pinkish-red color in its heartwood; if not protected from light, this color dulls to a yellow-brown shade of pink. The surface left from an ornamental cut is brilliant and clean, but being so dense and light-colored, it is possible to have the surface show a slight burning from the cutter if the cut is deep. This wood has a density of about 67 pounds per cubic foot (1070 kilograms per cubic meter). Pink ivory is particularly striking when used in combination with African blackwood as the contrast in colors is quite effective in various designs. Its rarity precludes any great use of it in ornamental turning.

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Last revised February 4, 1996.