Culture

Rosewood, the exotic wood par excellence

How can you forget rosewood when you think of a tropical atmosphere and the sun of Rio? Rosewood, also known as “rosewood”, invites us to travel, due to its origins and its very exotic beauty.

The name rosewood groups together different species of exotic wood of the Dalbergia genus growing in the tropics, particularly in Brazil, Madagascar, India and Belize. The most sought-after species is Dalbergia Negra, also known as Rio Rosewood or “Jacaranda da Bahia” in Brazil.

Dalbergia Nigra grows separately from other plants but sometimes forms biotic communities with other Dalbergia species, such as Santos Machaerium rosewood or other tropical trees. Its natural range extends from the lowland rainforest of eastern Brazil, south of Bahia, through Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo.

Highly sought after in the 19th century for the manufacture of musical instruments and luxury furniture, the Rio and Madagascar rosewoods are protected by the Washington Convention, which has prohibited their trade since 1992 and 2013. They have therefore become very rare today, as only those pieces that predate the ban can still be sold.

Guitare en palissandre de Rio

Rio rosewood guitar

Rosewood is a very dense wood with undeniable mechanical and aesthetic qualities. It is a solid, durable and balanced wood, with marked veining and nuances of colour that give it its charm and a very noble appearance.

Rosewood has been used to make many iconic pieces, such as the “Lounge” armchair (1956) by the brothers Charles and Ray Eames, or the “Kilin” armchair (1973) by the famous Brazilian designer Sergio Rodrigues.

Fauteuil "Lounge chair" noir et ottoman Herman Miller en palissandre, Charles & Ray EAMES - 1950
Black “Lounge chair” and Herman Miller rosewood ottoman, Charles & Ray EAMES – 1950[/caption]