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English Violin 20th Century, What Type of Wood is this?


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I came across this violin when browsing online... It is said to be 20th century English.

Nothing particularly interesting, but it seems to be crafted with an unconventional type of wood? I have zoomed in and find the pattern actually made by the material itself. Does not seem to be any kind of painted gimmick.

Is this a particular type of wood that anyone is familiar of? 

Eng1.thumb.jpg.d9b76f3d6e2c9b72c900fd7b42b7f21e.jpgEng2.thumb.jpg.c6892c190d42fdca56b2af41b2c615e6.jpgEng3.thumb.jpg.6087834e23e94c4fc0ee4f37602f3a9e.jpgEng4.thumb.jpg.bc25a012afd84de27b8bf4476fa5c4f7.jpgEng5.thumb.jpg.7b3f58209c9b05ecd1a8c85b8c94c2f2.jpg

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Thanks for the inputs! @mood2000 @fiddlecollector @Shelbow

I have just looked at some photos of sycamore violins. Most of them appears to be more "plain" as compared to this one (more "speckled"). I guess this is just a more extreme case. It looks cool anyways.

I found an old Pegbox post mentioning this wood, I guess it is more used more commonly than I thought! So this violin is one of the more extreme examples?

 

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Look up London Plane or Lacewood and look at those pictures.

The term Lacewood covers a few different species though, it's a bit of a generic term really.

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Thanks. I see. I was able to find some nice pictures of the London Plane wood itself. There is no result (image) when searching for "London Plane Violin" though. I guess one of the probabilities being google confused with "Plane" "Violin" "London", and showed me a few pictures of the planing tools:blink:

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10 minutes ago, W.C. said:

Thanks. I see. I was able to find some nice pictures of the London Plane wood itself. There is no result (image) when searching for "London Plane Violin" though. I guess one of the probabilities being google confused with "Plane" "Violin" "London", and showed me a few pictures of the planing tools:blink:

More commonly used in Guitar making than violin making I believe. If you search London Plane Guitar you will get many more results.

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1 minute ago, Shelbow said:

More commonly used in Guitar making than violin making I believe. If you search London Plane Guitar you will get many more results.

I see. No wonder it seems somewhat familiar!

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38 minutes ago, Shelbow said:

When I studied instrument making (in London) everyone was going on about London Plane for some reason.

That is interesting. Is there any special tonal quality provided this type of wood? Since many guitars are also built from this... I suppose there should be something sought after by both violin and guitar makers?

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14 minutes ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

there is, and a South American lacewood, confusing isn't it

https://www.wood-database.com/lacewood/

Yes there are lots of woods with similar grain patterns that get called lacewood.

I'm not a promoter of the accuracy of Wikipedia, but this link gives you an idea of what the term may cover https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lacewood#:~:text=Lacewood is a common name,Allanblackia parviflora%2C West African trees&text=Macadamia spp.%2C Australian trees

As I said before, it's more a generic term that is used as a description of a grain pattern rather than anything else, but you do have people that will sell items as being made of lacewood or wood supplies as lacewood so it is sometimes good to know what the term covers. For example https://shop.exotichardwoods.co.uk/Lacewood-guitar-back-and-sides-set[1].html

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19 minutes ago, W.C. said:

That is interesting. Is there any special tonal quality provided this type of wood? Since many guitars are also built from this... I suppose there should be something sought after by both violin and guitar makers?

In all honesty I can't remember any specific conversations about it's tonal quality from my studies, more that it was quite cheap, had a nice pattern and was easily available. :lol:

In guitar making it is used for it's attractive appearance, ease of working and people state that it is somewhere between Mahogany and Maple in terms of tonal response (but I have no first had experience of this). Somewhat of a middle ground I guess.

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12 minutes ago, Shelbow said:

In all honesty I can't remember any specific conversations about it's tonal quality from my studies, more that it was quite cheap, had a nice pattern and was easily available. :lol:

In guitar making it is used for it's attractive appearance, ease of working and people state that it is somewhere between Mahogany and Maple in terms of tonal response (but I have no first had experience of this). Somewhat of a middle ground I guess.

That is cool. I guess cheap and ease to work are better explanations :D. I am a big fan or its appearance too, though I imagine quilted and bird eye maple are more visually appealing, I remember reading somewhere that they are quite difficult to work with. London plane sounds like a well-rounded candidate then.

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1 minute ago, W.C. said:

That is cool. I guess cheap and ease to work are better explanations :D. I am a big fan or its appearance too, though I imagine quilted and bird eye maple are more visually appealing, I remember reading somewhere that they are quite difficult to work with. London plane sounds like a well-rounded candidate then.

Definitely relatively easy to work with compared with some woods, but also probably not as easy as some others. Buy some and give it a go. I had a Chinese violin briefly that was made entirely out of birdseye maple. I imagine that was difficult to work with.

I made part of a guitar out of figured eucalyptus once, beautiful wood but quite fragile. I wonder how that would work for a violin.

 

 

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16 hours ago, Shelbow said:

Definitely relatively easy to work with compared with some woods, but also probably not as easy as some others. Buy some and give it a go. I had a Chinese violin briefly that was made entirely out of birdseye maple. I imagine that was difficult to work with.

I made part of a guitar out of figured eucalyptus once, beautiful wood but quite fragile. I wonder how that would work for a violin.

 

14 hours ago, Mark Caudle said:

I had some at one time and found it was very easy to bend-almost like rubber! Not sure that is a good thing for violin tone.

That is certainly interesting. I will give it a try some days!

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