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Re: Huanghuali or Not?m

Posted By: TimG
Posted Date: May 08, 2019 (08:56 AM)

I'm not sure why you'd be surprised that a 'huanghuali' looking wood would be imported into Singapore 20 years ago (1999). The demand for huanghuali has always been high, more so at the end of the 20th c. / beginning of 21st c., so to me it seems a logical option for furniture makers to seek out any & all comparable woods to meet growing demand.

That said, my assessment of the wood species is based upon your photos, not physical inspection, and so it may not be koa, but for certain it is not huanghuali.

I own one koa wood bench, and have seen a few other koa pieces in the marketplace, and all seem to be constructed in traditional Chinese furniture manner.

I have seen a large table being offered for $3,000 some time back, so the wood appears to be available in sizes that would accommodate cabinet or other large furniture items.

Value? That's an issue for me. Huanghuali is valuable primarily for its historical use and importance, then for its esthetics. As far as I know, koa wood only has its esthetics and its similarity in color to huanghuali, so it can never achieve the same kind of value.

So, the value of koa is more like a commodity than it is art or antiquity. The demand for it may only be by a small population of interested buyers, such as those living in Hawaii who appreciate local traditional wood, or by those who want the huanghuali look, but can't afford the real thing, or those who buy it mistakenly as HH.

In either case, I don't have any insight on this type of info, so I'm not able to help.


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