Mahogany, Maple and Canary wood
In 1633 a single Semper Augustus tulip bulb was said to be purchased for 5,500 guilders, the equivalent of $178,200. A rare tulip, with only a dozen bulbs in existence, it was scarce and thus it was coveted, and because it was desirable, it was costly.
A commentary on how we assign value, this Semper Augustus is carved from common Manitoba maple. Prolific and opportunistic, the maple tree sends its seeds far and wide, growing in any soil condition along fence lines and alleyways. Considered an annoyance and of little landscape value, are we now inclined to re-evaluate the maple’s worth because of what it represents?
Far from being rare, the numerous, noisy and messy the little brown sparrow is no one’s favorite. Yet, when carved from an exotic hardwood like mahogany does he then, by extension, increase in value?