We've often noted the draw of collectibles re-claimed from the water, with gold bars, coins, porcelain and even bottles of liquor and stamps returning from the ocean to be chased after by collectors. Some of the best are noted on our blog.
However, auctioneers Dreweatts are shaping up to offer something rather different: an artwork described as Extraordinary Driftwood Table from Endangered Island Communities.
A Table from the Sea's Edge is an awe-inspiring tour de force made entirely of driftwood and created by Silas Birtwistle, to raise awareness of environmental issues and promote conservation of the world's coastal and marine biodiversity.
Fresh from touring the world's ecological conferences for the past year, this unique 535 cms x 146 cms table and 12 armchairs is now offered for sale by private treaty by Dreweatts and Bloomsbury Auctions; it is on display at The Cumberland in central London next to the landmark Marble Arch, from September 29th to October 10th.
Silas Birtwistle travelled the world's 'biodiversity hotspots' collecting driftwood of all shapes and sizes from the beaches of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada; Belize, Central America; Tanzania in East Africa and Borneo, Malaysia.
Profits from the £50,000 sale of the table will benefit the four communities that helped to gather the driftwood.
Once the wood was shipped back to the UK, Silas set about crafting A Table from the Sea's Edge with its 12 chairs; everything was made to the highest standards and exclusively from the driftwood he had gathered.
Each chair is unique and although full of character, has classic proportions and the seats are made from woven re-cycled paper.
The wood has been bleached by the sun and rounded and smoothed by the waves and the sand; some pieces have traces of coloured paint as many were parts of sunken fishing boats and abandoned huts, while others have been charred by fire; no piece has been polished, dovetailed, laminated or refined in any way.
A Table from the Sea's Edge is not only the epitome of the best of recycled, biodegradable furniture, but it is also strikingly beautiful and would grace any boardroom or indeed a private home.
On a deeper level, it is a dramatic statement on the environment as it unites different cultures and coastal communities, connects land with sea, and symbolizes the boundary between marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
This ecological sculpture's credentials are certainly impressive. It was unveiled during the International Year of Biodiversity at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-10) which took place in Nagoya, Japan last year.
The Hollywood actor Harrison Ford, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Conservation International, was photographed sitting at The Table with Russel Mittermeier, President of Conservation International.
A Table from the Sea's Edge also provided an unusual focal point for various eco conventions and a multitude of high-level UN debates on environmental issues, including the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January this year.
A variety of illustrious people wanted to be photographed sitting on the driftwood armchairs, including Boris Johnson, Mayor of London and Britain's ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair MP. As Silas Birtwistle, creator of A Table from the Sea's Edge remarked, 'This is the perfect table to sit round to discuss the future of our planet.'
Birtwistle went on to say, 'The fast pace of life and the consumption of fossil fuels are acknowledged to be responsible for climate change, global warming, the melting of the ice caps, and the rise in sea levels.
To progress from today's throw-away society, we must put a greater emphasis on craftsmanship, quality and permanence in order for a sustainable future.'
Profits from the £50,000 sale of A Table from the Sea's Edge will benefit the four communities that helped to collect the driftwood.
This inspiring work of art will be on display from Thursday September 29th to Monday October 10th in the foyer of The Cumberland, a contemporary four-star property in the prestigious Guoman Hotels collection, which is located in London's Marble Arch.
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