Do you have $3,995.95? Now discounted from an original price of $12,000 is this one-of-a-kind ping pong table by artist Cyprien Chabert. It's shaped like Rapa Nui, the south Pacific isle also known as Easter Island. You know--the one with the giant stone statues. It's a commentary on the birdman ritual of the aboriginal inhabitants and the island's ecological history. It's for sale at Anthropologie, which comments:
Artist Cyprien Chabert is haunted by the idea of lost paradise – forgotten and fantasized about. He recreates these worlds through his work, like this show-stopping table, carved from an erstwhile ping pong table. Chabert was inspired by the Polynesian island of Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, and its birdman ritual, an annual event in which competitors would swim through shark-infested waters to a nearby islet to collect the season¿s first eggs of the Sooty Tern and return it to their sponsor on the island. The winner was crowned birdman for one year; the ritual died out in the late 19th century. Chabert uses the exotic symbolism of Easter Island to represent the complex nature of man’s relationship with nature and the ecological challenges faced by modern societies and cultures.
This product description inspired some funny commentary by blogger Nancy French, who writes:
My favorite part of that description is the Anthropologie product description writer’s use of the word “erstwhile.” I’ve had a lot of tough writing assignments, but I’ve never faced a task like that poor guy. I can only imagine his face when he was assigned this one.
“We’re selling a ping pong table,” his boss must’ve said.
Great! the writer may have thought. A retro addition to any family room!
“Well, you can’t actually use it, because it was created to complex nature of man’s relationship with nature and the ecological challenges faced by modern societies and cultures.”
“Say something about sharks. And birdmen.”
“What’s a birdman?”
“You’re missing the point.”
“And the point is…?”
I found this table via BuzzFeed, which has included it on a list of 19 ridiculously expensive items for sale at Anthropologie.