my name is Benjamin, and after having lurked in this forum's shadows for a while, I, unfortunately, have an issue that demands professional support, and hope to find an answer here.
I am a violinist and a master's student with my primary residence in Germany, and I have been fortunate enough to be playing on an old French violin made by Charles Buthod. When I went to a very well-respected luthier last summer to receive all necessary documents for international travel, he refused to certify the rosewood fittings on my violin due to, as he put it, the impossibility of being absolutely certain about their particular age and origin, even though he also said that he wouldn't be at all surprised if those fittings were the original ones from the 1840s. If I understood correctly, some types of rosewood are much stricter regulated than others but telling them apart seems rather difficult without any paperwork – I have since contacted the luthier who sold the instrument and he confirmed that no such paperwork exists as far as he knows –, and thus he declined my inquiry and strongly recommended to change the fittings on the instrument if I were to ever travel outside of the EU with it.
I, being very fond of the fittings and afraid of altering the instrument's sound, left the issue to rest for the time being. But now I have been invited to go on tour in the UK on short notice – as a side note, a confirmation whether the UK is as strict concerning CITES as Switzerland would be much appreciated – and changing the fittings appears to be inevitable in the long run, after all.
So with this prelude, I wanted to ask the luthiers (and every other knowledgeable reader) about the optimal compromise for the choice of wood if I want
a) the instrument to sound the closest to the status quo possible and
b) to retain the visual charm of the violin.
Concerning the latter, I would much prefer a dark brown tone for the fittings, since it goes along very nicely with the violin's varnish and the chin rest. For reference, I use the brown Dolfinos Vienna chin rest which they say is made out of "European FSC certified wood" (https://dolfinos.com/collections/dolfinos-chin-rests/products/the-dolfinos-chin-rests-vienna) and the current fittings, while I don’t know the actual make and origin, visually most resemble the JSB tailpiece that is described as "Rosewood, Ebony fret, gilded rhomb inlay" here (https://www.violins.ca/fittings/tailpieces/tailpieces_jsb.html), with the pegs – with additional golden ornaments – appearing to come from a matching set. I would like to avoid ebony and any comparably black tone for aesthetic reasons if at all possible.
I hope to have provided you with sufficient information to make answering my question possible and will be happy to provide more.
Thanks and all the best