> I am glad that Frederick shared all this info with me long ago so that
>don't have to worry about using real boxwood which is quite dear these
> It was the famous german recorder manufacturers that utilized all
>exotics which don't make better recorders. It's next to impossible to get
>Brazilian rosewood now and snakewood is so darn expensive $1200 for a four
> For these reasons it's necessary to look for substitutes or baline
>tortoise shell and ivory.
mit Verlaub! This isn't even remotely realistic.
What could possibly be worrisome about using "real" boxwood?
Rosewood, particularly Indian rosewood has been used for woodwinds since
the 19th.c Marigaux still makes oboes out it. Dolmetsch (Arnold, not Carl)
made recorders from it in the 20ies when the German factories were using
maple. It true that Moeck and Mollenhauer offered recorders in all kinds of
precious woods. But what depleted the Brazilian rosewood what the furniture
market in the early 70ies. That and the Brazilian politics. Neither
rosewood nor snakewood is particularly scarce. The market situation was
created by the Brazilian law that no unprocessed wood is allowed to leave
the country. that means that whole trunks cannot be exported. On account
of this, the stuff gets cut up sawmill fashion in largely unusable sizes
for many trades. A very few specialty importers have gone as far as to buy
up an indigenous sawyers so as to be able to cut what they need properly
in Brazil. Generally this has had the effect that decent bow wood, both
pernambuco and snake, are very difficult and expensive to get, not due to
scarcity, but due to the pricing effectively controlled by one or two
companies. What is available on the regular market is cut to such
rediculous sizes that one has 70% waste making it even more expensive, and
it is too thin to make bass bows at all.
In rural Brazil both woods are routinely used for carpentry, for making
houses and sheds.
Whalebone, tourtoiseshell and ivory are scarce for obvious reasons, but
those reasons have absolutely nothing to do with musical instruments. In
the case of ivory, the reasons are not good.
PS my pre-war Dolmetsch alto of indian rosewood is a damn good instrument,
better still than most of the many "handcrafted" (Dolmetsches were, too,
back then) I have tried over the years and better than most of the
originals, too. On the other hand, all of the really good things I have
played are box or maple.