News : Rosewood and CITES: How do things stand?

   Even though the classification of Rosewoods is still in force, musical instruments and their accessories benefit from an exemption from certificate since December 2019. Therefore, it can circulate under these forms without the possession of a CITES certificate, in the same way as pernambuco. We decided to keep this article online anyway, as everything in regard to raw rosewood, or any other species potentially listed on appendix II of the CITES convention and which would not benefit from that exemption will be treated the way described in that article. Moreover, informations about the "instrument passeport" remain valid, and isn't deprived of interest when wanting to travel serenely with your instrument.

 

    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.

Read more: News : Rosewood and CITES: How do things stand?

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.


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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. 

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