Thursday, May 23, 2013

Zitan (Pterocarpus Santalinus)

Status: Endangered (Threatened) and rarely available.

Other Common Names: Red Sandlewood, Tzu-t'an

Found in India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, these members of the Fabaceae family (Pterocarpus) can grow to 25 feet in height and 1-2 feet in diameter. .

Color is reddish Orange and darkens with age. Pale sapwood.

Medium to Course texture , machines well and turns well.  Specific Gravity: ???. Avg. Dry Weight:  ??? pounds per cubic foot.

Used to make: Furniture, Carving.

Used in Ming and Qing Dynasty furniture that was reserved  for the Imperial household. Due to over exploitation and smuggling into China where it is still highly sought after, the price for this wood can be astronomical. The single 5 inch long by 3/4 inch square piece below was approx $100 recovered from a damaged beyond repair piece of antique Qing furniture.

Zitan (Pterocarpus Santalinus) - Recovered from Antique Furniture

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