News : Rosewood and CITES: How do things stand?

    From the beginning of 2017, has been enforced the decision of the Plants Committee of the CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species) which rules and monitors international trade of weakened or endangered species, to register the different species of the genre Dalbergia (rosewoods and palisanders) in the annex II1. This annex lists the species on which trade is strictly regulated, in order to follow worldwide stocks and their movements, and protect its individuals. Nevertheless, their trade is not forbidden, nor as restricted as those in the annex I, in which the only species of rosewood represented is Brazilian Rosewood (Dalbergia Nigra), since 1992.
This annexation was followed by many rumours and untruths which spread, creating a wave of panic among leaders and musicians. In order to clear the reigning confusion, here is where we're at, in simple words, and what obligation falls to everyone in case of possession or trade of instrument or accessories which includes rosewood.

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News: Wood

While the violin is made of flamed maple for the back and spruce for the top for 300 years, different kinds of woods were used for accessories. Their mechanical function requires a good resistance to traction (for tailpieces), to twisting (for pegs), or to wear (for fingerboards).
Before the industrial and colonial era, hard and fine grain european woods were used (apple tree,  plum tree). Some of them are naturally « greasy », and thank to their fine grain, it's easy to obtain an admirable polish.

bois-harmonie 8945

News : Fittings for strings instruments  

Many of the respectable 200 years old cellos circulating in the auction sales have attracted my attention. Looking at them, I got a feeling of incongruity, like looking at a beautiful piece of furniture with a wood-grained Formica top.
It's that shiny plastic tailpiece. I was upset to see that this sparkling eyesore was hiding the instrument ! Something had to be made about this, at least for aesthetic reasons.
I am a also a violin maker and my knowledge of the setup and adjustment of instruments is a useful skill. However, some questions arise regarding the evolution of the fittings of the instruments of the classical quartet.