Kauri, the native timber used to create Rose & Heather's furniture, has been prized for more than 200 years by carpenters, cabinetmakers and boat-builders for its consistent high-quality density and grain.
However, the Kauri used in Rose & Heather's ranges far exceeds the age of any Kauri found elsewhere. Extracted from beneath the ground in northern New Zealand, ancient Kauri can be up to 36,000 years old, pre-dating the Egyptian pyramids.
Rose & Heather has always felt a responsibility to protect the natural environment. In early days, so as not to destroy the natural forest cover, the company made use of windfalls.
Over the years the company has negotiated rights to trees covering three pre-historic forests in Northland. The deepest layer is a now extinct species said to be buried by some catastrophic event more than 43,000 years ago. The second forest fell over about 36,000 years ago and more recently the 9Logs which over just 1800 years ago.
Company representatives travel north each month to carefully select the finest pieces of wood for Rose & Heather furniture. Despite its long burial, with careful selection, cutting and drying, the wood maintains qualities consistent with current varieties. However, its beauty far exceeds that of traditional Kauri. The subtle timber grain often features the silken effect of polished fossilised gum that has seeped into the wood. Bathed in light, the furniture literally glistens as if lit from beneath the surface.
The finished product is a rich cognac shade, darker than traditional Kauri, which has a more golden tone.
Nobody knows how much ancient Kauri exists, only that sometime in the future, the supply will come to an end. We do know that only those who purchase Rose & Heather furniture are privileged to be entrusted with the preservation of this unique resource.