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PhilipKT

Is this pernambuco?

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7 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

I don't think it is pernambuco, but it doesn't look like brazilwood either. I don't know what it is, but suspect it is something cheap.

But isn't Pernambuco graded by looks? All that matters to me is how it plays. Bow prices and desirability and the fetishism attached to bows is a very strange thing to me.

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19 minutes ago, sospiri said:

But isn't Pernambuco graded by looks?

I would imagine the first and most important thing to establish is the species, i.e. is it pernambuco or something else.

I expect that bowmakers will be considering many things above looks. Straightness of grain, density, speed of sound, runout, knots, mineral stains, shakes, colour.....
Not much point in making a bow out of pretty wood, if it won't perform too.

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16 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

I would imagine the first and most important thing to establish is the species, i.e. is it pernambuco or something else.

I expect that bowmakers will be considering many things above looks. Straightness of grain, density, speed of sound, runout, knots, mineral stains, shakes, colour.....
Not much point in making a bow out of pretty wood, if it won't perform too.

A lot of things in that list ^ are looks though aren't they? And some bows are very pretty.

I won't say any more on the subject, I think you all know what's on my mind but saying it is heresy.

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Reminds me of the wood used at Japanese bows, also the shape of head and stick. But to be sure it would be necessary to see more.

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3 hours ago, sospiri said:

But isn't Pernambuco graded by looks? All that matters to me is how it plays. Bow prices and desirability and the fetishism attached to bows is a very strange thing to me.

 

2 hours ago, sospiri said:

A lot of things in that list ^ are looks though aren't they? And some bows are very pretty.

I won't say any more on the subject, I think you all know what's on my mind but saying it is heresy.

IMHO, except for some rare bows made by a handful of superlatively gifted archetiers, the whole thing is a game of chance to a much greater extent than violins.  Find the cheapest bow that plays well in your hands on your instrument, and once you have, hang on to it and don't agitate yourself about the origins of the darned thing.  :ph34r:

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50 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

IMHO, except for some rare bows made by a handful of superlatively gifted archetiers, the whole thing is a game of chance to a much greater extent than violins.  Find the cheapest bow that plays well in your hands on your instrument, and once you have, hang on to it and don't agitate yourself about the origins of the darned thing.  :ph34r:

Yup

 

39 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

This is great thank you!

I’m still reading so can’t comment regarding the bow I shared, but it neither looks nor feels like pernambuco. I’ve never seen ipe in person but I was wondering if it might be ipe.

You're welcome Philip. Even I, as a bow fetish cynic enjoyed that blog.

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4 hours ago, FenwickG said:

Take a small scraping from the bottom of the mortise, put it in a few drops of water. If the water turns pink you likely have pernambuco.

That is a very interesting experiment, I will indeed do that if the owner of the bow will permit. It’s a lousy bow, and he wants a better one regardless of what it’s made of.

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10 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

That is a very interesting experiment, I will indeed do that if the owner of the bow will permit. It’s a lousy bow, and he wants a better one regardless of what it’s made of.

 

5 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

Why do you care if it's pernambuco or not?

Right. It's a lousy bow no matter.

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10 minutes ago, sospiri said:

I think he wants to convince the owner to upgrade?

Oh.  OK.  What does buying a Glasser CF bow have to do with Pernambuco?  :huh::lol:

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I want to know because I want to know. It doesn’t look like pernambuco so I’m asking. What’s wrong with that?

6 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

Why do you care if it's pernambuco or not?

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18 minutes ago, sospiri said:

I think he wants to convince the owner to upgrade?

Whether the owner wants to upgrade is irrelevant. I saw the bow, it didn’t look like pernambuco, so I wondered if it were.

sheesh.

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32 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Whether the owner wants to upgrade is irrelevant. I saw the bow, it didn’t look like pernambuco, so I wondered if it were.

sheesh.

Oh, I apologize. I thought you were un connoisseur des archets.

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1 hour ago, PhilipKT said:

I want to know because I want to know. It doesn’t look like pernambuco so I’m asking. What’s wrong with that?

lol.  nothing wrong with it.  I'd be curious to know, myself.  Just wondered if you were going to conclude something from it.

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1 hour ago, PhilipKT said:

Whether the owner wants to upgrade is irrelevant. I saw the bow, it didn’t look like pernambuco, so I wondered if it were.

sheesh.

Ummm, if you came into this supposedly not knowing squat about Pernambuco, how could you predetermine that it didn't look like it?  :huh::lol:

To my eye, the bow's wood closely resembles some of the black-streaked Paubrasilia echinata samples in the links, and so, IMHO, could be Pernambuco after all.   Speciating some of these woods requires laboratory techniques, BTW, and not infrequently the botanists themselves aren't sure of what is what.  You might try steeping some mortise scrapings to see if you get red pigment.  :)

 

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43 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

Ummm, if you came into this supposedly not knowing squat about Pernambuco, how could you predetermine that it didn't look like it?  :huh:

I don’t know how many bows I’ve seen over the years, but it’s a lot. 

This doesn’t look like any bow I remember having seen. It doesn’t feel like any bow I’ve played. I asked the kid where he got it, and He answered that he got it with his cello, I don’t know whether it was a throw-in or he paid for it. So I asked if I could take a couple pictures and ask here. 

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I think the best you can do is say whether it is not pernambuco by looking at the grain structure, end grain, and if the density falls within the normal range. If the wood morphology falls within the normal range of pernambuco then it might very well be pernambuco, or a number of other similar species. 

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