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Rare Brazilian monkey puzzle wood occasional table with butterfly specimen top
This is a rare custom made table made in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and is from the 1930's or 1940's era. The table top has about 30 colorful butterfly specimens of various sizes secured under a circular piece of glass. A strong wooden rim holds the glass in place. The wood is most likely monkey puzzle wood. In online research I found people refer to the wood in this type of tables as yew wood, root wood, monkey wood, etc., but I think the most accurate description would be monkey puzzle wood. This wood features contrasting reddish knots originating from the evenly spaced, horizontal spreading branches that are arranged in whorls around the trunk. The wooden base has multiple sections and each of them appears to have been hand turned on a lathe and combined to create a hollowed out stepped conical pedestal. One can see the dark knots forming a decorative pattern on the pedestal side. On the outside the knots look more like black in color, probably due to aging or some manufacturing process. However, if looked from the underside of the pedestal the knots are still reddish in color. The underside of the hollow pedestal has been electrified with a bulb. The table top and the pedestal can be separated for ease of transportation. The table also has all the original labels and tax stamps intact. Table bears paper makers label of Carlos Zipperer Sobr. This furniture factory, the oldest in Brazil, was founded in São Bento do Sul by Carlos Zipperer Sobrinho in 1923. There is also an original sticker on the underside of the table top stating Formanek, Rua Do Acre, No. 6-I, Rio De Janeiro. The table is 21" wide and 25-1/2" high. The base is 18" wide. Currently, it is illegal to make this type of tables using butterflies which are now protected species in Brazil. So, this type of tables is hard to find.
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