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GeorgeH

Bow Wood Identification

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Attached are the pictures of heads from 5 commercial-quality bows numbered 1 to 5. Can anybody positively identify the wood used (Brasilwood or Pernambuco) for each bow from this picture?

Thanks for your help in advance.

5_bows.jpg

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I think the lower one may be abeille but hard to see and the first four photos make it impossible to tell due to the flash/light glare. First may be ironwood due only to the darkness it appears in the photo.

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Eric ,i was just using a general term im talking about south American timbers. I think your refering to what we call desert ironwood which from experience wouldnt be suitable for bows.

I beieve golf clubs were just made out of fruit woods until they started using persimmon. Ironwood golf clubs over here just means  a hybrid club made from iron and wood:) Golf isnt really my thing!

The photos still arent clear on my screen ,funny colours and if i were to guess id say they are all abeille wood or stained?

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Iron wood can mean many different species, but that's true for many common names.  In plants even the Latin names don't always agree or change over time as we're able to look beyond the macro morphology of the plant and look more closely at the reproductive structures.  Ok, off my plant geek soap box.  If anyone is able to positively (or pretty sure) identify the different wood species I would be interested to know why.  Pore size, grain structure, etc.  #2 is the most clearly different from the others.  I suspect that a much closer view of the wood is needed.  A trick for taking very close up picks is through a microscope or through binoculars held backwards with the eye piece nearly touching the object.

-Jim

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51 minutes ago, Jim Bress said:

#2 is the most clearly different from the others. 

Yes, I suspect that is the Pernambuco bow.

1 hour ago, Jim Bress said:

If anyone is able to positively (or pretty sure) identify the different wood species I would be interested to know why. 

I am very interested in learning to distinguish Brasilwood, Pernambuco, and Abeille, which is why I posted this picture. I was hoping that this thread would turn into such a discussion. I'll see if I can post some closer-up pictures later.

@fiddlecollector

If you click through on the 2d picture several times, you should be able to open it up to full size - maybe that would help.

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Heres some examples of different bow woods ,most have the same lighting ,so easier to compare. All woods can vary greatly in looks, density of wood and pores ,colour particularly plain,stripey,dark /light etc.....

1st is Pernambuco

2nd is amourette,which is whats known as snakewood but without the typical stripes. The one with half light coloured area is sapwood . (pernambuco also has light coloured sapwood as do alot of dense hardwoods including ebony and blackwood.)

3rd is a few ironwood of various species. The one which is half light coloured is showing sapwood

4th is a wood called Bauwaua, it is only usually seen in early bows up t around 1850.

The 5th is an example of abeille bow or as Americans like calling it Brasilwood. I dont tend to collect photos of abeille bows but this is by a very well known maker.It nearly always has those white/light coloured  flecks which follow the grain.Though i have seen it without and very plain looking.

The last photo shows the tiny grain marks often a feature of good quality pernambuco ,it tends to be visible more on the quarter cut surface and is often hardly visible in lower grades of pernambuco. It is not something i`d class as an identification feature though as other exotic   woods can show similar features.

pernambuco.jpg

amourette.jpg

ironwood various.jpg

bauwaua.jpg

abeille.jpg

992259.jpg

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@fiddlecollector

Wow - Thank you for this! 

I think that I can make a pretty good distinction now between Pernambuco and Abeille.

In my samples, I think that bow 1 looks mostly like very dark Snakewood. It has none of the light streaks that the iron wood bows have. 

I think that bow 2 is Pernambuco and bows 3, 4, and 5 are Abeille.

In your samples, it is really hard for me to tell some of the un-figured Snakewood bows from Pernambuco bows. Is it the darker spots in the wood that gives it away? Or something else that you look for?

Thanks again for taking the time to post this!

 

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On 4/8/2017 at 9:05 PM, fiddlecollector said:

Heres some examples of different bow woods ,most have the same lighting ,so easier to compare. All woods can vary greatly in looks, density of wood and pores ,colour particularly plain,stripey,dark /light etc.....

1st is Pernambuco

2nd is amourette,which is whats known as snakewood but without the typical stripes. The one with half light coloured area is sapwood . (pernambuco also has light coloured sapwood as do alot of dense hardwoods including ebony and blackwood.)

3rd is a few ironwood of various species. The one which is half light coloured is showing sapwood

4th is a wood called Bauwaua, it is only usually seen in early bows up t around 1850.

The 5th is an example of abeille bow or as Americans like calling it Brasilwood. I dont tend to collect photos of abeille bows but this is by a very well known maker.It nearly always has those white/light coloured  flecks which follow the grain.Though i have seen it without and very plain looking.

The last photo shows the tiny grain marks often a feature of good quality pernambuco ,it tends to be visible more on the quarter cut surface and is often hardly visible in lower grades of pernambuco. It is not something i`d class as an identification feature though as other exotic   woods can show similar features.

pernambuco.jpg

amourette.jpg

ironwood various.jpg

bauwaua.jpg

abeille.jpg

992259.jpg

Thank you for the pictures! :) 

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Fiddle collector,

Your post of 8/4 shows pictures of a couple of dozen unidentified bows  and designates wood identification for 5. I am very interested in this but can't figure out which bows are being identified as which wood. What am I missing?

Thanks, Nate

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Nate, the photos appear to show as one long photo but their is several collage type seperate images the first 21 are pernambuco, then 11 of amourette, 4 ironwood and 4 bauwaua. the last image is a Dominique Peccatte in abeille (or brasilwood as americans keep calling it).

I didnt really want to put loads of photos of abeille. (i always though its pretty obvious but some still get confused), i always though more people get confused with amourette and some pernambuco.

Most images are from the same source so the lighting etc... is likely similar.

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fiddlecollector,

Terrific group of pics and very very informative.

Re the pernambuco bows, I'm having a hard time seeing the similarity of bow #18 (counting top to bottom then left to right) to the other pernambuco bows.  Maybe something about the finish?

Just wondering,

Greg

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