We would like to inform our clients that new legislation came into force on January 2nd 2017 regarding all woods of the species Dalbergia. They are now being listed in Appendix II by CITES, meaning that all woods of the species Dalbergia are subject to stringent conditions for import and export.

These new regulations affect all our friends outside the EU buying items from us made from the Dalbergia woods. Affected woods we sell are Cocobolo, Amazon, Madagascan, Honduras and African Blackwood. An export permit is now required for each order. It may also be that an import permit is required by the purchaser and it would be the purchaser’s responsibility to ensure that they follow the new laws of their country.

These new regulations will greatly affect us all and extend the time that an order takes to be ready for shipment, ‘emergency’ orders in these woods will no longer be possible outside the EU. We will have no alternative but to add the cost of the permit and administration to the order and the administration will take time.

native and sustainable wood

              L to R Olive, Holly, Pear, Blackthorn, Hawthorn, these woods are currently being tested and not necessarily available yet.

On a positive note, we are fully aware of our responsibility to the planet and we support these changes to the law if they ensure that rosewoods continue to thrive. We are introducing a sustainable range of woods to our supplies and as well as beautiful boxwood we will be offering beautiful alternatives for the Dalbergias, we are working on finding suitable native or sustainable woods and will put a list on our website of what we can offer and recommend. This is a work in progress.

We urge our clients to be adventurous and in turn to encourage their clients to branch out (hhmm).


We are all used to using Logwood as a stain for purfling blacks, in this case using ferrous sulphate as a mordant, but Logwood is capable of much more. We have been experimenting with Logwood, using different materials as a mordant in order to achieve varying colours. With the correct manipulations, Logwood can stain very deeply into the wood so that removal of material during the shaping of pegs to fit to the pegbox would not cause an issue with colour.

The results of the trials shown above, with test pegs in mock up peg boxes, was that a number of favourites emerged, these were holly (Ilex aquifolium) and plums (prunus spinosa and prunus domestica). Plum - we have already introduced to our standard range and it has a beautiful reflection and a fine texture, it also works perfectly in the peg box and has been used by violin makers for many years. Some of you may recall this as the material of choice for pegs on all of the instruments made as part of the Vivaldi project in 2006.

Experiments are ongoing to find the best mordants to use with Holly and other woods in order to achieve a deeply penetrating "Rosewood" stain. We'll keep you posted!