Silverlining is renowned for sourcing rare materials, ready for the forthcoming client commissions. Such was the case with the design of The Land, Sea, and Sky table. It incorporated an 18th-century brown burr oak, which the Silverlining team sourced five years prior.
The oak tree was planted in 1773 at Castle Howard in England, to celebrate the birth of George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle. Brought down during England’s Great Storm on the night of 15th October 1987, the 214-year-old tree remained where it fell for over 25 years and became colonised by parasitic fungi. The fungus stained the natural pale, honey-coloured wood of the fallen tree a darker brown, creating a desirable type of wood known as brown or tiger oak.
The ancient oak also had numerous rounded outgrowths called burrs, which form when a tree undergoes stress. As the wood within a burr grows in a deformed manner, it is highly figured and therefore greatly prized for its beauty and rarity.
The oak is the centrepiece of the Land, Sea and Sky table - a bespoke commission for a nature-loving client, made in collaboration with superyacht designer Greg C Marshall.
The table’s pedestal was made from a large, heavily burred section taken from the base of the great oak, mounted on top of a circular polished stainless-steel plinth. To best showcase the natural beauty of the brown burr oak, the Silverlining design team created a central bowl section to sit within the butt section, beneath a see-through, five-piece glass top.
Although the team was keen to use the tree in as natural a state as possible, at a diameter of about four feet, the entire butt was too heavy for lifting onto the clients’ yacht. This meant that the large butt section had to be cut into five wedges, with the final assembly of the table done in situ on the client’s yacht in New Zealand. In addition, 160 micro-LED lights were connected and inserted into the wedges with a two-foot-long drill to penetrate the rock-hard wood.
The embedded, red, green, blue, and white coloured micro-LED lights twinkle brightly from within the shadows of the contorted tree butt, symbolising the stars in the night sky. The oak butt and bowl – with their stunning burr texture and rich brown colours – represent nature; whilst the greenish-blue cast glass top symbolises the swirling waters of the sea.
Remarkably, whilst the table’s journey started in the 18th century, on the grounds of one of Britain’s finest stately homes, it ended aboard a yacht in New Zealand, as a 21st-century design piece.